HEARING FOOTSTEPS

Since arriving in the NHL, Theo Peckham has given the Oilers some "crust." Steve Tambellini’s off-season added more (Eager, Hordichuk, Sutton) and as the trade deadline approaches Teddy Peckman may be on the outside looking in.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun has maintained for some time now that Wreckum is on the trade block, and Jonathan Willis has also addressed the situation. Peckham offers size, toughness and a mean streak, all of which are highly valued in the NHL. He also comes with the usual chaos you can expect from a young defender with under 200 NHL games on his resume (he’s at 148). 

Peckham has been out of action recently, but Jason Gregor told us the other day the big man is ready to go and we should see him soon. I’m usually the guy who wants to trade defensemen who struggle without the puck, but the lesson of Ladislav Smid is fresh in my mind and sometimes it takes these young men extra time to learn the position.

REDRUM

I have a feeling the Oilers are happy with the crust suppled by Ladislav Smid and Andy Sutton on the blueline. The club is also very likely (this is my strong belief) to add a big minutes defenseman at the deadline or over the summer. He might be a puck mover or a Jason Smith-type, but said player would impact even strength minutes and play a prominent role on at least one of the special teams disciplines. 

All of which makes Peckham expendable. Colten Teubert is on the horizon and Alex Plante may still have a career if he can cut down on the number of times he’s being used for target practice. 

The depth chart for next season looks like this:

  1. Ryan Whitney
  2. Tom Gilbert
  3. Ladsilav Smid
  4. Jeff Petry (RFA but an emerging talent)
  5. Andy Sutton
  6. Corey Potter
  7. Theo Peckham (RFA)

In order for the Oilers to add that big minutes defender I’ve suggested, something has to give. The obvious candidate would appear to be Peckham. His skillset is covered on the roster, he has enough NHL experience to have value across the league and is young enough to be projected into the future.

I have no idea about what might be coming back, but he would appear to be both reasonable playoff insurance and a guy another NHL team would consider more than adequate in the 5-7 rotation along the blue.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

This Oiler team is miles from being a dynasty, but making the right call on men like Theo Peckham is vital. Trading him now looks like a distant bell, an impossible task. Garrioch’s article tells us he is in play, suggesting at least one NHL team is interested. The Andy Sutton signing  may have signaled Peckham’s exit. 

  • bazmagoo

    Wreckum’s starch comes with a caviat, he’s a liability in more important aspects of the game. Positionally he’s weak (probably due to lack of experience) but his main fault is his inability to move the puck.

    The way the league is moving away from body contact, I think Theo needs to improve his positioning rapidly. Don’t see it happening in the next 2 years, so he’s expendable in my opinion.

  • horndog77

    Trading Theo doesn’t really do much for the oilers, like someone else said they should keep him for depth. The issue to me is the inability to score, and to keep the puck out of the net. Dream list for this years free agency should be a stud defenseman a good goalie and a brand new third line……please!

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    If Teddy goes, Tambellini should be next.

    The Oilers haven’t had “crust” for a while. Pecks brings that with the ability to play (inconsistently but he should come around) AND fighting. No one on this team can offer that except for Eager. And he’s a forward.

  • Lowetide

    I use to think that having seven defenseman was enough for most teams. Based on injuries we have sustained since we cleaned out our original trainers, seven is not enough.

    We need at least eight or more defenseman and Theo is young enough that it’s safe to say………he has not yet played his best hockey. We lost patience with Green and moved home to LA and since then have had a very hard time finding someone who plays the physical game, without having to be motivated.

    Keep Theo, he will not fetch much any ways and his best years are ahead of him.

  • Drinkin' the Oilaid

    The sutton signing signalled that Wreckum’s time is up, but I’m curious why wreckum isn’t being showcased if that’s the case. Is anyone going to trade for an oiler coming off an injury given Tambi’s recent MO? Possibly afraid playing him might hurt his value like Barker is hurting his value?

    I like what wreckum brings too the table, but he’s got another 150 games before he becomes a solid NHLer, and the Oil have to recognize that they can’t keep rolling lineups of 3 or more inexperienced (fewer than 300 NHL games) Dmen. Since they’re likely stuck with a less than fully healthy whitney who will need replacing for some period of games next season, plus they’ll be rolling Petry and Potter, the oil need to move on from #24.

    It’ll be a true measure of both tambi’s intestinal and intellectual fortitudes to see if he can manage this asset correctly.

  • Lowetide

    I can understand the desire for patience with Theo… He might end up being what Gator was to the Leafs. But I don’t think he has the tools that Smid, Teubert, Musil have.

  • 24% body fat

    funny i just said this in the comments on the last article. Tambellini will also need to look for a UFA to boost this blue line meaning peckham falls even further down the depth chart. Or murray makes the jump. Either way Peckham not likely to be an oiler.

    • Lowetide

      That’s the tough item here. I tried to trade Smid 100 times on my blog and now he’s playing exceptional hockey. Maybe Peckham’s about to have the light go on?

      don’t know. Hopefully the Oilers have the right answer.

      • D

        I agree. Up until last year, I would have traded Smid for a bag of pucks. Peckham rounding a corner in the next season or so is just so doable. Just hope if he gets traded, it doesn’t come back to bite the Oil.

  • Mac

    Not related to article but what do you guys think of Ales Hemsky for Josh Harding? Throw draft picks in either way as you wish. Minnesota has interest in Hemsky and I think Dubnyk and Harding would be a good and cost effective tandem that would still allow Dubynk to develop. Have to be able to get ride of Khabi at the deadline though to Chicago, Toronto etc.