Blue On Blue

A young man’s playing career is in jeopardy, the injuries keep piling up and the Edmonton Oilers aren’t even at the starting gate. Is the story of the season being written before launch?

With Whitney, Smid and Chorney suffering various troubles and Fedun’s future in doubt, the Edmonton Oilers are in a world of hurt along the blue. Chorney is a bubble player, but Smid’s minutes along with Whitney’s are a massive blow to this team. I say this every fall, but the Edmonton Oilers as they currently stand have an alarming lack of quality and quantity on the back end. Every Oiler fan finding out about the disaster in Minny will want the Oilers to make a move.

Tom Gilbert, Cam Barker, Andy Sutton, Jeff Petry, Theo Peckham, Corey Potter, and a recall of Colten Teubert. That’s what things might look like opening night.


Can the Oilers address the defense before opening night? Well, it depends on what the club is willing to give up. At this point, Edmonton does enjoy nice depth along the wing and improving depth at C; the club could procure a gem on D in exchange for any of Linus Omark, Anton Lander or Teemu Hartikainen.

The problem is that Steve Tambellini can’t afford to be wrong in dealing one of the blue chippers. Should they send along Teemu Hartikainen to a team like Dallas for a young defender? What if Hartikainen becomes the big winger with skill we think he’ll become? And what if the defender that the pro scouts like falters or is injured? 

It’s very dangerous–Frank Booth dangerous–to make a panic move. As painful as it might be to suffer another mind numbing season, perhaps Steve Tambellini (or his successor, the clock is ticking) can properly address the extreme weakness that has been the blue for many years now next summer. The price now will be extreme. 

Perhaps a free agent signing or a waiver pickup is the better plan.



Someday the Oilers will ice a defense made mostly of homegrown talents. Complete skill sets, big men with speed and skill. Until then, staying the course is the better plan. Linus Omark is a player of interest around the league for a good reason, and adding an average NHL defender for such a talent is a loser’s bet.

Nation Radio hits the airwaves today at noon on the Team 1260. Among the scheduled guests:

  • Ian Walker from the Vancouver Sun will join us to talk about the health of Vancouver’s NHL team, naked Canucks and how the NW will look this season. Predicting what Ian Walker will say is not possible, so tune in for the fun.
  • Kent Wilson from the Nations Network. I’ll ask Kent about the NW, about the Doughty signing and we’ll discuss the new Flames whipping boy (Matt Stajan).
  • Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun. Jones has seen a lot of training camps and a lot of phenoms, so should be able to give the best available estimate about this year’s team. I’ll also try to find out why he’s so damn interesting on twitter, although I think it might have something to do with short attention span.
  • Helene Elliott from the Los Angeles Times. We’ll talk about the Doughty signing, the Fraser-Smyth ongoing saga and discuss the Brendan Shanahan’s suspensions and their impact.

I have a couple of other lines in the water but can’t confirm. Please tune in at noon and your calls and emails are always welcome at

  • DoubleJ

    It’s too bad there seems to be bad blood between the Oil and LA Kings. They have that D-man Voynov who would be a great pick up. LA seem to have no room for him.

    On a different note. I think Potter has had a better camp then both Smid and Peckham and this might be the opening he needs to get his foot in the door on a NHL career.

    As long as nothing else happens I think the Oil will be OK with Potter playing and I think he might surprise and pass some of the other D-man on this team.

  • robgilgan

    Tom Gilbert, Cam Barker, Andy Sutton, Jeff Petry, Theo Peckham, Corey Potter need to be able to hold the fort until Smid and Whitney are available to play. Tuebert and Plante, maybe even Helmer on deck.

    Omark’s a wizard and this is a team that will use wizards to capture Stanley.

    We can’t be hitting the panic button every time somebody breaks a bone.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      do you not realize what you are saying here?

      this pile of crap needs to hold the fort until these 2 guys that are ALWAYS HURT “might” come back?

      i agree we cant panic every time somebody breaks a bone, but when a chunk of an already very thin blueline goes out before the season even starts, and your team finished dead LAST 2 years in a row, someone somewhere needs to step up and do something.

      If the top 6 is gilbert, barker, sutton, petry, teddy and potter, dubnyk had best channel his inner patty roy…

      struddles43 had best get his skates sharpened and head down to rexall

      • robgilgan

        Dubnyk needs to channel his inner Patrick Roy in any event, if he wants a career in the NHL. He’s another favourite of mine and I think will not just be the team’s starter, but its MVP when it gets back to the post-season.

  • book¡e

    I don’t think management wants to make the playoffs and as such have no problem with the glaring weakness at D. I predict FA signing or waiver wire or a trade of your garbage for mine.

  • paul wodehouse

    …depending on how Nystroms’ record reads imo he needs no suspension on this very unlucky for Fedun play…Lowtide mentioned today on the radio that what if a Malkin does this … point taken because this was a type of play i believe could involve a Malkin or any other super star…i had read that Nystroms’ stick got between Feduns’ legs and that’s how he went down so awkwardly…upon video review as they say imo Nystroms’ forceful stick to hand check took Feduns balance away as Fedun was trying to stop up at the boards and he rolled off balance and his leg ran out of room to recover from the fall safely…the major penalty called was for ‘boarding’ which i don’t believe is correct …if anything it’s hooking and shameful bad luck for the poor kid…there should also be no eagerness to pay back Nystrom… it’s the kind of play an eager player could make on anyone…

  • OutDoorRink

    This was not ‘bad luck’. Bad luck is what happened to Whitney. He caught his skate in a rut. Feduns injury was the direct result of the actions of Nystrom.

  • paul wodehouse

    for the record and imo…Whitney came back too soon by his own admission and that’s not bad luck that’s bad injury management or some such newfangled term…

  • OutDoorRink

    As his own coach described it, as Nystrom described it and as the video clearly shows, Nystrom decided to ‘reach in’ as they approached the boards. Shall we pretend that Fedun just lost his balance for some unknown reason. We’ve all seen this before, that’s why there’s been a call for non- touch icing for years now. What Nystrom did is dangerous.

    This is just the latest example of what happens when a player takes another players skates out from under him as they’re racing towards the boards. Brutal. We saw the same thing happen to Souray a couple years ago.

  • paul wodehouse

    ok so we agree to disagree on the action itself… i saw it differently, from one angle only and partly obstructed by the ref…i’m not soft on anything that’s untoward going that fast into the end boards and yes we’ve seen similar plays…the reach in for me was at Feduns’ hands, i saw no stick between his legs… the Players Association itself hasn’t got this rule change in yet… the new head shot rule took precedent i’m guessing…no touch icing would have worked well here…if you are Shanny how many games do you give Nystrom?

  • paul wodehouse

    Fans want a high draft pick, since the Oilers are not a playoff team.

    The Team has pride and does not like to lose.

    Management wants to keep their jobs, so they will be more inclined to speed up the rebuild if their Job is dependent on that.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    I would agree that we can’t force or panic our way into a trade. Hopefully somebody with some good defensive depth tries to slide a solid defender through waivers.