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:

  • 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.

  • go-oil

    I agree with Peterborough – this is only Plante’s 2nd season in the AHL and he didn’t even have a full season his 1st year. I’m glad if he gets a full season down there. Even more so with Teubert who had a few cups of coffee in the ECHL and this his 1st year in the AHL. It’s too bad injuries have set them back but I like that they’ll hopefully grow into their roles with the rookies.

  • fuck off

    I’m going to call it right now, as to reserve my bragging rights:

    Quicksilver Ballet is going to be eating his crow after the LA 1st rounder turns into an NHL roster player by 19 and Tuebert crushes Iggy in a regular season game.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I’ll take my chances that the kid the Oilers select falls into that 84%category that never become an NHL regular. We’re better off packaging that pick up with a roster player and buy something that’s already established.

      You might be satisfied to watch your team stumble and bumble their way to multiple dead last place finishes, residing in hockey hell provides little satisfaction for me, feel free to kick up your heels and lean back in that chair and pretend everythings fine if you like. Everyonce in awhile it’s okay to push that piece of poo back up the hill to where it came from.

  • Lowetide

    James: It’s the problem with doing a rebuild. If it works, everyone is happy. If it doesn’t, you end up watching Ryan Smyth every spring in the playoffs.

  • fuck off

    I love the move of bringing up Petiot. He should take Studs position next year. After the way he played in preseason I couldn’t believe he got sent away. This guy is a late, Late, LATE bloomer. I think he could be a Yan Hejda type development curve. After the Penner trade I was bummed out, but this makes me happy again. If the plan is to suck for four straight years(which Tamby is doing a great job at making it happen) might as well give some local boys a shot at the show.

    Just a thought, Lowetide do you think that because as Oiler fans we have become so used to getting rid of our talent since the 90s, that we are way to exited to get our shiney new prospects and picks instead of proven talent. I came to this self discovery after realizing Ryan Smyth is still a good player.
    While he is overpaid the 5.5 mil he would have signed for in Edm was a home team discount (just under a mil). Its not just the fans I think it starts at the bottom and goes to the top. I am concerned we will turn into the Isles and Floridas not the Pens and Wings if we can’t break this cycle. Chicago didn’t turn it around until management and ownership changed. Talon is perfect for FLA he will draft high forever and never know when to take the exit ramp chicago wouldn’t have won if he stayed GM and if he would have been canned earlier they might have had a better shot at 2 or 3.

    • Maggie the Monkey

      Smyth at $5.5M would be slightly more reasonable, but he’s at $6.25M through until the end of next season. He’s still one of my favourite players but getting paid more than Zetterberg, Getzlaf and the Sedins is nuts.

      Just like I used to do with Gretzky and Kurri, I still dream of Smyth coming back when this deal is over to finish his career in Edmonton. My hopes aren’t quite as high these days, though.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    As per Mr. Gregors effort last week we know that one in five from that list have a shot at making it. We all know that one is Jeff Petry, might as well add Tueberts name to that list of also rans as well. Now, if Tambellin could only find an uninformed GM like Lombardi did, we may be able to get something for some of these guys as well.

  • That or they’re starting to get wary of the concussion issues Smid has had and now Peckham may be traveling down the same road. Could be stockpiling sandpaper types just in case the shelf life on them may not be as long and if one or two drop due to injury, it’s always good to have guys to call up who can fill that mold.