Face Plante

An NHL team’s depth chart is constantly in motion. Dustin Pennner sent away=more icetime for Taylor Hall and others. Injury to Theo Peckham=calling up the best available talent for that player type. The first round pick was passed over on recall. It spells trouble for the prospect.

Richard Petiot (in photo above) is a 28-year old journeyman player. That’s not an insult, playing defense in the AHL is no bargain (witness Taylor Chorney’s plus minus as a young D) and playing it at the NHL level is like flying life and death sorties over hostile territory every three minutes.

The Oilers depth chart on the blue at the start of the season included Ryan Whitney, Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid, Kurtis Foster, Theo Peckham, Jim Vandermeer and Jason Strudwick. Here’s the minor leaguers listed in the reverse order of their being sent out of training camp:

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  • Oct 5: Sheldon Souray
  • Oct 3: Shawn Belle and Richard Petiot
  • Sept 30: Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry and Alex Plante
  • Sept 27: Jake Taylor and Johan Motin
  • Sept 20: Jordan Bendfeld

Using this as a depth chart (and understanding the 7 guys who made the big club form the major league depth chart), we could reasonably assume that Alex Plante was between 10 and 12 on the overall depth chart coming out of training camp. With the season 78% in the books, the number of NHL games played somewhat reflects the TC pecking order:

  • #8 Shawn Belle (5 NHL games this season, since traded)
  • #9 Richard Petiot (1 NHL game, played last night)
  • #10 Taylor Chorney (10 NHL games, knee issues)
  • #11 Jeff Petry (21 NHL games, in OKC awaiting recall)
  • #12 Alex Plante

Plante remains in the AHL and has been a healthy scratch at times this season. The acquisition of Colten Teubert–a very similar player–suggests the Oilers may have decided on Plante as a prospect (or at the very least felt a need to address the issue of that player type).

The tough stay at home group–which includes Ladislav Smid, Theo Peckham, Jim Vandermeer and Jason Strudwick at the NHL level and Petiot, Teubert and Plante at the minor league level–is not an area of strength. Part of the reason Teubert is an Oiler today has to do with Plante’s lack of progress.

That’s how I see it.

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  • Lowetide

    Fair enough I have heard of Lecavelier as a comp but I don’t think he skates well enough.
    What about Jason Allison?

    I have read your blog for years I love it.
    Question, how is it that you haven’t been on the radio all these years, you’re terrific. I really enjoyed the show, you should have been on the squak box all along. I see a big contract from 630 ched coming.

  • Lowetide

    James: You’re very kind. I went into sales when my kids came along and honestly had burned out from the on air thing (did it for 20 years, mostly top 40).

    So this is a nice hobby, two hours a week for the old guy. 🙂 As for CHED, no thanks. I’m very happy in my current situation and have two kids to put through post-secondary.

    • Chris.

      This whole situation with Plante is an excellent illustration of why it is a bad idea to go off the board with a first round pick…

      Heck, the Oilers just traded away their leading scorer with the principal return being a pick that will probably be much later in the draft than the one spent on Plante.

  • Rogue

    We always value those who have departed us. I guarantee that if Smyth was still here, we would be saying he is overpayed,hurt too much and cant skate. You could also make a case for Smyth would of prevented us from getting some the young talent we have now. We would of PROBABLY been a better team, but would of been starting our rebuild later. Thus, no Hall.

  • Rogue

    Or we might have had managment who new we Should have started after 06. We might have had stamkos or doughty along with hemmer and smyth, Stoll, Greene, Pitkanen, Brodziak minus Souray, O’sullivan, Nilson,Cole,Kotalik and Horcoffs monster Deal(I like the Player) . Who Knows.

  • stevezie

    I remember watching Kevin Shattenkirk’s name go one spot before our pick and feeling crushed, knowing he was the one the oile wanted. I remember feeling crushed again when they took a flyer on Plante. I can’t act too smart though, I thought they were crazy to take him when Cherapanov and Esposito were still available.

  • stevezie

    I suppose drafting 18yr old kids is kinda like reading tea leaves. I just looked over the NHL draft history at hockeydb.com and I think the poor selections made during Plante’s draft year is what’s setting us back. 3 first round picks (Gagner, Plante and Nash) and only 1 playing in the nhl.

    The picks give the bloggers something to yak about but truth is LT- we need more NHL players (like you’ve said 10,000 times). It doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy about Plante OR the extra 1st round pick we have from the Kings- which should be around where we drafted Plante in the first place 4 bloody years ago. That’s going to be another burning tire around Tambo’s neck for a while.

    That being said, hopefully the 2009 draft is what this team will build off of 2 years from now. Tom Petty said it best “the waiting is the hardest part…”

    • Peterborough

      The deal has us losing a 30 goal big man (who plays soft) who can dominate games (but more often than not disapears completely). Who had one year before free agency.

      We got a solid D prospect of need in the orginization and a 1st. If LA misses the playoffs its 14 or higher and we get a 3rd next year. If the make we get a 2nd next year.

      Either way thats three solid peices that any team will want instead of just those who are in need of a power forward.