10 MINUTES WITH STU MACGREGOR

Did the Edmonton Oilers get enough from the Los Angeles Kings for Dustin Penner in the form of former first-rounder Colten Teubert, a first-round pick in 2011 and a conditional draft choice?

I’m not sure — at least not nearly as sure as some people seem to be based on what’s been written and said since GM Steve Tambellini did the deal at the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 28. They, clearly, know something I don’t.

It made sense to me to ask Oilers chief scout Stu MacGregor about that bit of business. I’ve always thought it better to get the low-down from the horse’s mouth — in this case, a person who actually assesses hockey talent for a living — rather than rely on the other end of the animal. You know what they say about *ssholes and opinions — everybody has one.

With MacGregor in the process of grabbing a shower and a shave before heading out the door for a drive to Belleville, the 10 minutes we spent talking hardly represents a comprehensive interview, but I thought I’d pass it along anyway.

WHAT ABOUT TEUBERT?

People have opined whether Teubert, a defenseman drafted by the Kings from the Regina Pats 13th overall in 2008, represents enough of a return as the live body coming back in the trade, given that a prospect like Russian Vyachislav Voynov has turned heads on the Kings’ AHL farm in Manchester this season.

Morey Gare and Edmonton’s pro scouting staff have been Tambellini’s sets of eyes when it comes to Teubert since he turned pro. MacGregor’s take is based on what he saw of Teubert with Regina.

"I know our pro guys where pleased to get him," MacGregor said. "His history in junior is that he’s a hard-nosed guy who plays hard. A good skater. He shoots the puck well.

"The pro guys are pleased where his game has advanced from what they saw at the beginning."

THE COACH SAYS

We got more insight on Teubert today from Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson, who did an interview with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Lunch. Teubert has played three games with OKC since the trade.

"He plays with an edge out there," Nelson said. "It was known from his first shift that he wasn’t willing to take crap from anybody.

"He was sticking up for his teammates. He hasn’t fought or anything like that, but he does play a physical brand of hockey. He’s got a cannon for a shot. He moves pretty good for a big, young guy. He’s pretty mobile."

Then, Nelson offered this bit of glowing praise: "In Teubert, you’ve got kind of a, I don’t know, a Scott Stevens-type defenseman," he said.

"He has skill to him, but, also, he has that jam. He plays very tough in the corners, very tough in front of the net. When he finishes guys, he wants to punish them. That’s pretty impressive for a young guy like himself."

WHAT ABOUT THE PICK?

We won’t know how the first-round pick in 2011 shapes up until we see know where the Kings finish the regular season and what, if anything, they do in the playoffs.

The pick could wind up falling from the mid-teens to 30th overall, if the Kings win the Stanley Cup. I asked MacGregor about picking in that range, given the 2011 crop of talent.

"I think we’ll get a good player," MacGregor said. "I guess you can always ask, did we get enough for whoever? I think they did pretty well.

"I know Penner is basically a 30-goal scorer on an ongoing basis. You either love him or you hate him kind of guy, I guess from what the media writes and everything else.

"I like Dustin. I thought his game came around the last couple of years. I thought he was an effective player for us. With any trade, when you trade a player for futures, there’s always going to be a question, right?

"Unless you get the first pick overall, and you say, "Oh boy, we’re going to get a really good player,’ unless you really screw it up, but I feel we’re going to get a good player. That pick could be as high as 13 and as low as 30, I guess, if they won the Cup.

"Obviously, as you move further down the list your chances of getting a good player aren’t as good, but I think we’ll do fine and get a good player even if they win the Cup. There’s enough depth in the draft, enough good players, that I think we’ll be quite happy with what we’ll get."

SAW HIM GOOD

MacGregor just got back from a week in Sweden, where he watched defenseman Adam Larsson, a sure lottery pick and possible first-overall choice, play two games with Skelleftea in the SEL.

"I was very pleased," MacGregor said. "He’s a good player. A very good player. "He is what he is. He’s a very solid first-pass guy. He moves the puck well. He’s very intelligent. He see the ice. He’s a solid defender. He’s got good size. He’s a very good two-way guy with something on the offensive side."

MacGregor has seen Larsson before. Likewise, anybody else rated near the top-five — Sean Couturier, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the like. Larsson, a six-foot-three, 220-pounder who has 1-8-9 and 41 PIM in 37 games in his third season with Skelleftea, didn’t disappoint.

"He’s a guy you have to consider that early in the draft," MacGregor said. "I don’t know where we’ll pick, anywhere from one to three, I’d think, and he’ll be a guy in that area for sure. He just reaffirmed that he’s one of the top players in the draft.

"There’s a long way to go in the process. I haven’t really got to the point where I’m sure on anybody, but I’m certainly not disappointed in any of them."

 Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • DaveChamp

    Stu will definitely make a fist-class choice with the fist-overall pick, which will be the fist time a team has had the fist pick two years in a row since the Senators. Let’s hope it goes much better than it did for them.

    • Ender

      30th place is pretty-much a two-horse race at this point with Ottawa, but remember that no matter which team ‘wins’, they can still get bumped by any team finishing in the bottom 5. That means that if Ottawa maintains their flatspin and we finish in 29th, we could still end up picking third if a different team, say Colorado, wins the lottery and bumps us down another spot.

      • Mantastic

        lottery picks can only move up as high as 2 and move down as much as 1, so only 30th place-28th place have a chance to get first overall. so if we finsihed 30th and some one else beats us in the lottery for 1st overall, at worst we would pick is 2nd.

        • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

          A single selection from the lottery pool is made, with the winning team improving its draft position by up to four places, and no team dropping more than one place.

        • Dan the Man

          Draft lottery winners can move up as many as 4 spots. The Hawks finished 5th the year they drafted Kane 1st overall after winning the lottery but yes a team can only slide down one spot.

          Edit: Sorry I just noticed that someone already pointed that out.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    With all these attributes they should bring Tuebert up here for a look see. His skating’s fine, he’s physical, a cannon for a shot, what would it hurt? Better to have a look at him now than during training camp with all the rookies mixed in with some vets playing at 85%

    • Horcsky

      You might be on to something there. What’s the point of playing Strudwick when we can get a headstart on ‘assessing’ players for next season?

      My guess is that the call-up rules pretty much make this decision for the team though.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Jason mentioned something about that last week. After the trade deadline teams are limited to 4 call ups for the remainder of the season. I’d still bring him up, even at the risk of being a player or two short on a game sheet for a game or two.

        If MacGregor and Nelsons opinions are anywhere near accurate, this kid is just spinning his wheels in the AHL. With these guys it’s difficult to seperate truth from wishful thinking.

  • Banger

    Great news Robin. Love the background info from the Magnificient Bastard!!!

    I expect right after Todd Nelson told Bob that “In Teubert, you’ve got kind of a, I don’t know, a Scott Stevens-type defenseman,” Bob pointed out that Stevens is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, won 3 Stanley Cups and absolutely terrorized everybody he played against and that the Oilers hope Teubert can develop into hard nosed # 5 defensemen.

    Would that description constitute hyperbole?

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I cringe when anybody mentions raw, unproven players to elite/hall-of-famers before they’ve proved anything, but most times the references are in regard to similar attributes or style of play as opposed to a flat-out comparison.

      No hyperbole from you, but I do wonder about this designation as a “#5 defenseman.” While it’s popular to designate a number these days, I see it as jargon people use without thinking.

      What is the real difference between a #2 and a #3 or a #4 and a #5 in terms of ability or style of game? Is there one? I can see “first-pairing” or “second-pairing” etc, but what separates a #3 from a #4? Same pairing.

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        Maybe not style, but maybe your #3 is a guy that is used on the PP and PK and your #4 is more of a PP or PK guy? That’s kinda the way I see it. Just someone that is used more.

  • Ducey

    Here is a blurb from HF on Voynov. There is no doubt he is a good offensive Dman but problems with defence and the possibility of him going to KHL are pretty big concerns. I’m happier with Tuebert.

    Still, it’s telling that Voynov has yet to make his NHL debut while Jake Muzzin stuck with the Kings out of training camp this year just months removed from junior hockey, and that Alec Martinez was the team’s first callup from Manchester when Muzzin faltered. Though Voynov has almost three full years of North American professional hockey under his belt, his game isn’t quite at the NHL level yet.

    His offensive talents would be a welcome addition to the Kings blue line, but he’d be a liability in the Kings defense-first system without further refinement. The Kings risk losing Voynov to the KHL this summer if they continue to take the ultra-patient route with him but should he show a willingness to stick around, he’s a future bottom-four NHL blueliner who can quarterback a top unit powerplay.

  • Ducey

    I guess it would be fair to say that if Teubert develops into anything in the neighborhood of a Scott Stevens then Tambo did pretty damn good no matter where the picks end up. That said, when you are trading future for a proven NHL player it takes a while before you know and this one will be no different.

  • Spydyr

    I think the return for Penner was fair. We all got a little excited when we saw the deals being consumated out East, but those were unique circumstances. Boston, Philly and Tampa are going for it this year. Washington are not performing as well as they should and Crosby and Malkin are injured. This is as good an opportunity as these teams will get to win it all. So unless you had a deal for one of these guys, you’re not going to get an embarrassment of riches back.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      I think he said that as he really hasn’t seen Teubert that much lately. He’s been off scouted the players for the upcoming draft. Kinda hard to be in Sweden, Manchester, Red Deer and all the other places he needs to be.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      “Morey Gare and Edmonton’s pro scouting staff have been Tambellini’s sets of eyes when it comes to Teubert since he turned pro. MacGregor’s take is based on what he saw of Teubert with Regina.”

      • Bank Shot

        Yea, I know. He doesn’t praise teubert’s play in the WHL either. Stu just describes what type of player he was, “Hard nosed, good skater, hard shot”. That could be anyone from Shawn Belle to Shea Weber.

        I thought it was kind of funny that in the interview he called Penner an effective player, called Larsson a good player, and said they could get a good player with the first round pick, but didn’t say anything about Teubert being a good, or potentially good player.

        • Wax Man Riley

          “With MacGregor in the process of grabbing a shower and a shave before heading out the door for a drive to Belleville, the 10 minutes we spent talking hardly represents a comprehensive interview, but I thought I’d pass it along anyway.”

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I wish Larsson put up better offensive numbers. That being said, he’s an 18 year old playing in one of the better leagues in the world. Still though… this is no slam dunk who should go first.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Expect the reference is to where you are in a pairing. I expect that you would say Whitney was a # 1 D man on our team. That is, the lead dog in our top pairing. On good days you would say Gilbert is a # 3, lead dog on 2nd pairing etc

    The reference to Teubert and a #5 is a comment made by Dan Barnes reporting on comments from Oiler personnel.

    I would say that if Teubert was a Scott Stevens type he would be the 2nd best defense men the Oilers have ever had. After CFP and before Coffey.

    Not bad return for Dustin Pennner

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    So what are everybody’s thoughts on Couturier falling in the rankings?

    As per Sam Cosentino on the Pipeline Show last night. Said he talked to 6 scouts last weekend and all 6 said that Couturier is not in their top 3 anymore.

    Interesting.

  • Banger

    Amateur and pro scouts are sometimes managed separately. The fact that Stu is focused on the amateur scouting is a good thing. Stu has 2 1sts, a 2nd and 2 3rd round picks that his boys are responsible for and many of these hockey seasons are winding down.

      • I don’t know that it’s negativity, but the 65 points part of the comment needs context because scoring rates then were drastically different.

        In Stevens third season, 1984-85, 12 of the NHL’s 21 teams scored 300-or-more goals. Last season, one team out of 30 reached 300.

        Stevens 65 points in 84-85 left him 56 points short of Paul Coffey’s high for defensemen of 121. Last season, Mike Green topped the NHL with 76 points and the only other D-man with more than Stevens 65 was Duncan Keith with 69.

        In 1984-85, Tom Barrasso won the Vezina with a 2.66 GAA. Last season, 35 goaltenders listed had better goals-againt averages.

  • forestscooter

    I find it funny when listening to comments on the Oilers defense over the past couple months with regards to the #5 spot. Reviews seem to go: Smid is panning out to be a great #5 defenseman, Teubert could potentially be our #5 defenseman, Alex Plante is slowly growing into a solid #5 defensesman, if Vandermeer re-signs he’ll be a veteran #5 defenseman.. Peckam, Chorney.

    The number 5 seems to be where our defense is at.. and we’ll have a lot of spots open going forward apparently .. lol

  • Mitch

    The oilers got as good as return as you could expect, I like the Teubert pick up because we need more physical tough mobile players in the lineup. The developement system in place now is the key factor because 4 or 5 yrs ago this would have been a horrible trade.

      • Mitch

        It’s only 1 maybe 2 year deals at most, to help provide some veteran leadership, Arnott knows what it takes to win, my 3rd line centre powerplay guy, I thought Knuble because he’s a 20-25 goal guy and just a little bit of back up in case one of the youngsters get off to a slow start.

          • Bank Shot

            They might if you throw stupid money at them. Knuble is 38-39 and probably wont get any offers over one or two years anyhow.

            If the Oilers offer him substantially more then other teams on a one year contract and a promise of a trade to a playoff team at the deadline, he might get on board.

            Adding decent veterans probably runs counter to the current tank plan by Tambellini though.

          • Mitch

            Is Edmonton that bad of a place/team that a ufa should only consider signing here if we are cup contenders? If that is the case once again what a sad thought for a franchise that should be so proud of its accomplishments.

          • It’s not about Edmonton being a bad place. If you’re a player nearing the end of your career, do you want to spend it with a team that probably won’t contend during your time there?

            A younger UFA, say 25 or 26 years old, might consider Edmonton a good spot because they might be able to command a four-year deal on a team that looks like it might contend in two or three years. They get paid and they get a shot at winning something.

            If you’re 37, what’s the attraction of playing in Edmonton?

          • Mitch

            Is there a 25 or 26 year old ufa that is gonna command that sort of deal and help the team? I was only think of guys that would command short term deals while we intergrate and give time for the young guys to develope properly. I don’t want a Khabibulin contract.

          • There’s some younger pending UFAs who might might fit here, assuming they haven’t re-signed since the start of this season (I haven’t checked).

            Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich, Rick Rypien, Ben Eager, Scottie Upshall and James Wiesnewski, to name just six, are 26 or 27.

            Not saying all the above are a fit, but there will be a fair number of guys aged 26-29 who will be available and will have a chance to still be meaningful players two or three years from now.

          • Mitch

            Yes I think Rypien or Eager would fit with this group, at the moment we have the worst 4th line in hockey amongst other worries because of injuries. I’m just looking at a little tweaking because I feel we will still be bad for another full yr, in the bottom 10 at least. I was thinking that Arnott or Knuble would be good veterans to learn from.

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

            I think all of those guys would be a great fit, not sure about Rypien though. Hasn’t he had some pretty serious personal issues this year?

            I’m not sure if I’d risk bringing on a head case that was only a marginal player.

      • D

        @Brownlee

        This is a serious question. I saw on the broadcast tonight that Arnott scored 900 points. I haven’t been tracking his career, which is why I was caught off guard that he racked up so many. When he retires, would he be a consideration for the HOF? My instinct is no, but Arnott is starting to enter Glenn Anderson territory for points, and Arnott has won the Stanley Cup.

  • Arnott will get into the HHOF the same way I will — by buying a ticket.

    He’s nowhere near Glenn Anderson in terms of career accomplishments at a team or individual level.

    Anderson won six Stanley Cups and was one of the best playoff performers in the history of the game. He had 214 playoff points in 225 games. Arnott has had a very good career, but he’s not in the same conversation as Anderson.

      • Horcsky

        Depends on your definition of ‘rocky start’. Arnott scored 239 points in 286 games as an Oiler. 0.84ppg if my abacus is working right.

        *Sigh* Imagine a team that had Horcoff, Weight, and Arnott at centre. If only we could’ve held onto Arnie and Dougie.

        • D

          That would have been a pretty deep team down the middle. I ran the numbers on Bill Guerin, and his time in Edmonton was 0.76ppg, which is not too bad as a trade return for Arnott. Still though, H/W/A would have been nice.

  • hey, I don,t think the injury bug can go any farther that being sead a lot of players are going to get a look see I can see hall, eberly hemsky.whitney ,dubnic ,habibulin, magnus,and pecham as the keepers all the rest are fringe players mostly fourth liners. what do you think who will they keep for sure,just your in opinion. eg .jones,omark,reddin mac.etc.