GDB 50.0: DO THE MOVES MATTER?

Instead of firing another head coach, Craig MacTavish has decided to move out some players who have been here for most of the losing. Ladislav Smid was traded earlier this year, and yesterday Devan Dubnyk was sent to Nashville for Matt Hendricks. MacTavish quickly replaced Dubnyk by acquiring netminder Ben Scrivens from Los Angeles. 

Will these moves make the Oilers better? 

I don’t see Hendricks making a major impact, but I also don’t expect 4th liners to be difference makers. His salary is too high for a 4th liner, but if he plays well, helps out on the PK and adds some energy then he could break even. The Oilers aren’t in a massive cap crunch and I don’t see anyone on the roster in line for a significant raise over the next two seasons, so I don’t see his $1.85 million cap hit hampering them financially. You can critique Hendricks the player, and have reservations about his play, but his cap hit is not going to hinder the Oilers.

Scrivens has an opportunity of a lifetime. He’s coming to a team that is desperate for adequate goaltending. He doesn’t need to be great, he just needs to be better than Ilya Bryzgalov’s .904 SV%, and if he can avoid allowing weak goals he’ll be considered an improvement.

Let’s make one thing abundantly clear, however, Dubnyk was not the main reason the Oilers are in 29th place.

He was brutal at the start of the season, but since November he has been no worse than the majority of the roster. I’ve heard and read suggestions that that his slow start ruined the Oilers season.

I’d say that is just a tad misleading.

No doubt he was brutal early on, especially against the Jets, Canadiens and Leafs. Had he played decent they win those games. However, when you look closer you realize that the Oilers winning % didn’t go up when Dubnyk was out of the lineup, it went down.

In the 29 games Dubnyk started the Oilers won 11 of them.
The 20 games he didn’t start they won 4.

The Oilers won 38% of the games he started, but only 20% of the games he didn’t. In case you are wondering in his 11 wins he only allowed 20 goals, so you can’t say the offence carried him. 

I’m not giving Dubnyk a free pass. He didn’t play well this year. He has to own that, but they Oilers need to realize that when he didn’t play they won 4 of 20 games. FOUR. I’d say they have many other issues besides Dubnyk.

The goaltending needs to be better, but after speaking to a few scouts and goalie coaches I’m not sold that Scrivens is an automatic upgrade.

Dubnyk played much better last season; however, he hasn’t been able to shed the "weak goal" label. Those goals were magnified on a losing team, and if he wants to be a starter somewhere else he’ll need to limit the softies. Scrivens is a good backup, but he’s yet to show he can be a starter. He’ll get every opportunity to prove he can be over the next few months.

Dubnyk didn’t look comfortable this year and to me it became clear the organization had lost faith in him, and I sense that Dubnyk’s confidence was waning. Sometimes you just have to realize that both sides are better off without one another, and I think that was the case.

I won’t be surprised if Dubnyk puts up decent numbers elsewhere, but I will be shocked if he re-signs in Nashville. With Pekka Rinne signed for another five seasons, I doubt Dubnyk wants to settle for a guaranteed backup role. I suspect he will sign with a team that doesn’t have a clear cut starter.

HENDRICKS…

He is a 4th liner who kills penalties, but he hasn’t produced much offence since he tallied 25 points in 2011. He is competitive and will battle, but some won’t be able to get past his $1.85 million salary for the next three seasons. If you expect him to produce a lot of points due to his salary, then you’ll be disappointed. He won’t bring much offence.

He’s never been a regular centre, but he has won 53% of the 700+ faceoffs he’s taken. I’d have him centre the 4th line the rest of the season. Smyth is better on the wall than he is down the middle.

At best he’s a 4th liner who kills penalties and will add some energy and break even offensively. The latter will be his biggest challenge, and MacTavish has opened himself up for criticism if Hendricks can’t be break even. 

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Gagner
Yakupov-Arcobello-Eberle
Perron-Gordon-Hendricks/Jones
Jones/Hendricks-Smyth-Gazdic

Ference-J.Schultz
Marincin-Petry
Belov-N.Schultz

Scrivens

Starting Scrivens was the obvious decision. He’ll want to make an impression right away and Bryzgalov wasn’t very good in Dallas. The Oilers are 2-16-3 in their last 21 visits to Minnesota, so any new face in the lineup could be a welcomed addition.

Hemsky is back in Edmonton getting his swollen ankle looked at. If it is just bruised, I’d sit him out until it was 100%, not 80 or 90, but 100% before I’d put him back on the ice. The Oilers need him healthy and at his best to maximize his trade value. He won’t re-sign to be a 3rd line RW next year, so they need to get something for him at the deadline.

Hendricks should play 4th line centre, mainly because Smyth is better on the wall, but Eakins suggested you might see him on the wing, possibly with Gordon. The Oilers like his energy, which is great, but he’ll need to generate some offence if you play him on the third line.

TONIGHT…

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers haven’t had a lot of luck in the Twin Cities (inner Gene comes out) recently, but the new faces will give them a boost and they will skate away with a rare win in Minnesota. They get a break not having to face Niklas Backstrom — he is 25-4-1 all-time vs. Edmonton, although the way he’s playing maybe they would prefer to face him — and they score three on Darcy Kuemper to win 3-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: You can change the coach and the players, but the Wild are still a boring hockey team. They are 26th in scoring, but have the 10th best GAA. This game is a reminder of how awful it was to have to watch the Wild six times a year. Thankfully we are only subjected to it three times a year now.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Most stats suggest Hendricks won’t produce much offence, but he picks up a 2nd period assist and Oilersnation rejoices. Also, in a rare change of fortunes an Oiler scores against his former team when Nick Schultz scores his first of the season. Kyle Brodziak watches in disbelief. He was certain he would score tonight.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

 

 

  • 1983 and This Year

    Scene opens in Katz mansion. Lowe is in a leather chair, stroking a cat, flanked by Katz and MacT. Hendricks is led into the room, held by 2 guards.

    Lowe: Matt, remember what I told you last summer? That’s right, you hadn’t seen the last of me. Someday, you would be mine. And now you know — one way or another, I always get what I want.

    Katz points towards Rexall

    Katz: Now get in the pit with the others!

    MacT throws his head back and laughs maniacally

    End scene

  • #ThereGoesTheOilers

    happy to see Dubnyk get a change. he needed it and probably isn’t sad either.

    whilst the oilers keep piddling around in bottom 6, with aims at high draft picks, other teams will build winning teams. unitl we touch the top 6 we stay bad.

    • paul wodehouse

      …all Gregor did was type ‘sexy twins’ into his search engine and click ->

      after he did whatever he did he must have decided on these two . . .

      it’s really clever the way he put that Minnesota game day thing juxtaposed with this gratuitous shameful display of the female form to it’s best use… don’t you think?

  • 1983 and This Year

    Gregor, I commented late on your last blog about the top prospects game. Curious on your take on Ekblad.

    I didn’t like some of his decision making and question his hockey sense a bit. I’m basing this solely on the WJC. Small sample I know and he is 2 years underaged in that tourney. Just curious if you saw things differently. Again, he may have just been with the wrong D partner in Pouliot, since both appeared to be offensively minded.

    If Ekblad/Reinhart/Draisaitl/Dal Colle/Bennett are considered equal as prospects, who do you take?

    I lean to Draisaitl right now. Big body down the middle to compete in the west. And we have no blue chip centre prospects.

    • Jason Gregor

      Ekblad was fine at WJC for me. He was 17 playing in the top pair. How many other 17 years old have done that over the years?

      I have no concern with his hockey sense. I don’t agree with that.

      I haven’t watched them all enough to make an accurate pick at this point. I have started watching more of their games and will have a write up later in the year.

      Historically the best forwards in the draft are taken early, while the best D-man is rarely the best in his class.

      Of course guys like Pronger, Doughty, Niedermayer and a few other special D-men buck that trend… Ekblad is a heck of a player as are the rest. I will watch more and then decide who I’d take first…

  • Carlos Danger

    I was going to say something i thought was clever but probably wasn’t insightful or funny. All I can think now is DAYUM! DAYUM! DAYUM!Thank You Jason.

  • 1983 and This Year

    For a long time the Oilers had hard workers with no skill. Now the past few years we have had all skill and little to no hard workers.

    I think with the Ference, Gordon, and Hendricks acquisitions you’re seeing the hard workers creep back on to the team. The goal is to get a good mix of both.

    Don’t expect to see Hemsky and Gagner traded for high scoring players.

  • 1983 and This Year

    While it remains to be seen whether these trades make the team better, I don’t think it makes the team any worse.

    Either way Dubnyk was not going to be resigned, and considering he’s going to be a UFA we weren’t going to get much in return. I would have preferred to see a tough D-man in return but I’m sure MacT explored that option first.

    The Oilers desperately need physicality, toughness, and experience in their line-up. Hendricks brings all of those. He’s played on playoff teams and knows how to win. These intangibles should be good for the group. There’s no doubt he is overpaid, but it’s not by much and it won’t impact the teams financial flexibility.

  • Rick Stroppel

    HISTORY OF THE OILERS

    Once upon a time, in 1985, a man bought a video store. He carefully researched the matter and decided that Betamax was better than VHS. Nobody rented his tapes. He was very stubborn! He kept buying Betamax tapes. After EIGHT YEARS of losing huge amounts of money, he got a great idea. “I will just trade all my Betamax tapes for VHS tapes because nobody wants Betamax tapes.”

    Poor silly man!

  • pkam

    Oiler fans amaze me. Hendricks has not played one minute for the team and already the knives are out. I said the other day that in a re-build you don’t have to win every trade but you do have to win the key trades. This folks is not a key trade.

    Fans have been crying about no size, no grit, no energy and no compete. MacT acquires Hendricks who meets those criteria and every body is moaning that he won’t score, he won’t this, he won’t that. For goodness sake give him 10-15 games and then offer your thoughts but for now give him and MacT the benefit of the doubt. You are starting to sound like Leaf fans.

    • pkam

      The most ironic thing is, just a couple of weeks ago, some posters here complain that the management was doing nothing, and they said they would rather have some trades, any trade, than no trade, even we have to overpay.

      Hard to believe how fast they change their minds.

      • match16

        Its true. This losing atmosphere has brough out the greatest armchair gm’s in the world. The only thing is, is that when they say something one week and they get what they want the next week (size and grit…Hendricks comes along) they immediately go back on their word because it wasn’t the exact player they blogged they wanted (in some far fetched trade scenario they thought of.)

        This is real world trading ladies. Hendricks might not be the best 3rd or 4th liner with a not so great contract, but deal with it. If we gave anything else up (higher pick or more roster players) then you would just be pissed off that “we’re selling the future!”

        Bloggers always have the greatest ideas and the greatest excuses for their sh!tty ideas.

        yours truly,

        Jason “yes thats an earring” Gregor.

    • BLAKPOO

      You Sir, could not be more correct in my opinion.

      I hate the 8 years of futility as much as anybody else but wow,this is a tough crowd…

      My questions to the critics are these…

      How do you change a losing culture if you don’t make changes?

      How do you make changes if you are too scared to make a trade; because you may lose the trade,or there may(or may not) have been a better trade possible?

      Not to mention trading a goalie who is very obviously struggling on a last place team. Haven’t the majority in here(myself included) been saying it seems clear that the team appeared to have lost faith in Dubnyk’s ability to be a number one goaltender?

      The Oilers are not about to improve without taking a few chances…would you rather stand pat and keep what we have for yet another losing season?

      Where are all the people that were screaming to fire Tambo because he was too scared to make a trade?

      The Oilers are a complete and utter mess,we all get that.Ya gotta start somewhere

      We scream for change, and then criticize when change happens, before even one game has been played with the new players…makes no sense to me.

  • pkam

    Dubnyk is gone – enough. Its Scrivens whom is our man. Hope Jenny
    gets here while the weather is still warm :-).

    Hendricks- yeah he is overpaid but it is not coming out of our pockets
    [sort of] Horc was overpaid as well. Give it a rest. I think he is going
    to help that 4th line.

    Lets go Oilers ! 6 P.M. Game. Sweet.

  • BRHLBryce

    Plus Hendricks is an absolute ACE in the shootout. No mention of that?

    9 of 15 for his career prior to this season.

    Who says he has no skill?

    He will be fine in the bottom 6, replace Jones with a more protypical depth player.

  • BRHLBryce

    Here’s hoping for a Bryzgalov-esque Oilers debut for Scrivens. I’m pulling for the guy.

    I think we need to get Perron going again. I get that he is a solid two-way player and fits in well with other checkers but if he plays on a line with Gordon and Hendricks, we are wasting his talent. Maybe put Smyth on their wing as a pure defensive line, move Arco to fourth line centre and Gagner back to the middle.

    • Arius Mumin

      Smyth Hendricks Gazdic would be a solid 4th line.

      Jones Gordon Gagner on the 3rd. Why not?.

      Perron RNH Yakupov and Hall Arco Eberle as the top two lines. Hall’s line has expirience together and Eberle’s play would elevate playing with his favorite hcokey player. I am also convinced that RNH and Yakupov need to play together, if given time-I can see them developing into a solid duo.

      • Newj

        I would like see RNH centering Yak. There were a couple of games this fall when Yak was given a small opportunity to play on RNH line, but if I remember correctly it was about the time where he was being benched or not given much TOI.

        Whole other debate about Yak’s TOI but I too think Yak might do very well with RNH feeding him some passes. I think Yak has a great ability to find those open seams & of course RNH has the ability to see teammates in those little spots on the ice. I would like to see it for a few games as a trial run.

  • BRHLBryce

    I don’t give a s**t how much he’s paid, this is what the Oil need now! Hendricks will fit in nicely until the guys like Kessy, Ewanyk, Moroz & Khaira, to name a few, make their way through the system! Excellent moves MacT, keep them coming!

  • Arius Mumin

    *if you don’t look at the two faces-the picture of those two broads is amazing.

    Dubnyk was a weak golatender, presence wise, he never exerted confidence between the pipes: just kind of stood there and moved sometimes.

    Hendricks on the 4th line, will be better than any player he replaces that was there the game before.

    When did Smyth become a centre? C’mon man! Really Eakins?

    6-2 for the Wild tonight, Scrivens gets a rude introduction into the life as an Oiler

  • Truth

    Twins?!?!

    Don’t mind having a player like Hendricks on the team. He is overpaid for his skill set. You say that doesn’t matter, I disagree.

    I think if they let Dubnyk walk they could have signed a replacement for Hendricks for about $800,000 easy. Here’s a list of similar type players becoming UFA’s this off-season currently getting paid in that range: Carcillo, Thorburn, Bernier, Barch, Regin, Bissonnette, Brown, Westgarth.

    In doing that the Oilers would have spared themselves over $1,000,000 they could have thrown at any one of the following UFA’s IN ADDITION to what they would have originally offered them: Ryan Miller, Andrei Markov, David Legwand, Jonas Hiller, Ryan Callahan, Derek Roy, Matt Stajan, Jaroslav Halak,
    Dave Bolland, Radim Vrbata, Steve Ott, etc.

    I would much rather overpay any one of those players than to overpay a 32 yr old 4th liner. Of course many of those players will be signed by their current team, but some will make it to market.

    • Oil me up Charlie!

      Bissonnette isnt cut out to play a majority of an NHL season, we have that in a better player with Gazdik.
      Brown, we already traded him due to his inconsistnacy.
      Andrei Markov is 35 and a bandaid like hemsky.
      Good luck in attracting Bolland.

      so you would rather overpay a 35yr old russian band aid, than consistent grit for our 4th line finally?

      • Truth

        No, I would rather overpay a player that will play in the NHL for over 11 minutes per game AND sign a player to play on the 4th line. They’re overpaying the wrong guy. Like I said, nothing wrong with acquiring a 4th line grinder, but what makes Hendricks better than the rest of them? He’s got 4 points and is minus 7 on Nashville right now. I agree with your assessment of Brown and Bissonnette, and I also think Poile would throw Hendricks into that same category.

        Tyler Dellow has a great piece up on Sportsnet. Odds are that Hendricks is on the decline and spends at least his final year of the contract not playing in the NHL.

        http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/hendricks-a-dangerous-get-for-the-oilers/

    • BRHLBryce

      Of the guys you listed, the only one remotely close to bringing to the table what Hendricks does is Regin, who has no physical element to his game at all.

      In short, he’s a better overall player than you give him credit for. As a 4th line player, who has multiple “layers” to his game, I am fine with getting him for what we did. Is he overpriced? Not by much in the market today.

        • BRHLBryce

          Above average skating, good defensive instincts, faceoff ability, and penalty shot ability. which is 2 or 3 more tools than guys we’ve seen in the bottom 6 the past few years.

          • BRHLBryce

            I never said he was the cure all. I’m just saying for as bad a season as Dubnyk is having, and his value, to get a useful piece is alright.

            Do I like the contract? Its a bit high. Do I like the term, of course not. Still when we have to overpay depth guys to come here anyways now either in term or dollars (Gordon, Belanger etc), picking one up via trade, who has multiple tools, isn’t the worst thing in the world.

    • reaperfunkss

      What you fail to realize is that UFA’s arent attracted to Edmonton. Especially not with our losing culture. Hendricks was a player we originally sought out this past summer and he chose to go to Nashville. Those players you listed, and then some, would not sign here. So you make the trades you can to better your team for now. $1M overpayment may be significant when Yakupov and Perron reach their larger contracts, but Perron is locked up for a few more years, and Yakupov would be lucky to resign for what he makes now, so we arent in trouble. We also saved a lot of money off of Dubnyks horrific contract as Scrivens is paid peanuts compared. So consider it a lateral move, money-wise.

      The Oilers are fine when it comes to salary cap. In every other facet, we are in trouble right now….

      Im not excited by the trade, but im not upset either. Is the team better today? Probably not. Are we worse? Probably not.

      But im sure excited to see some movement. Its healthy for an organization with such a losing mentality to inject new blood.

  • S cottV

    Smart getting Scrivens in vs the Wild on the road.

    Wild are unlikely to completely light him up.

    That being said, the Oilers are unlikely to win this game. Low scoring loss – the obvious more likely scenario.

    I like the Hendricks part in 4C. If he is considered to be very good in his own zone, helping d men shut down low threats – this, along with the other attributes being described would make it a definate upgrade.

    I believe Scrivens thru the balance of the season, will be no better than Dubies numbers and not as good as Brys. The lack of appropriate Oiler goalie support being one of the major factors.

    Sorry to lose Dubnyk – at least as a back up, although for some of the right reasons and some of the wrong reasons, it was probably time.

    Hope he rebounds, finds his form and makes a case for a contract next year.

  • Truth

    It is not easy to hold the title of worst team in the NHL for 7. 5 years. You need moves like Hendricks to keep the title.

    Management is a joke a bunch of amateurs that have convinced Daryl Katz they are professionals.

    Any poster here could have done a poorly as management in the last 7.5 years

    • emonkee

      Wait, wait, wait…the point of your argument is that management has done the worst job of all NHL franchises over the last 7.5 years?

      Why didn’t you just say so? I think I’ve heard that comment before, but from somewhere else.

      Sarcasm aside, I really think that making these types of comments is pretty boring. Add on to the negativity why don’t you. I don’t know how Hendricks makes this team worse, and Dubnyk wasn’t going to make it better. But hey, if it gives you an opportunity to be heard somewhere on some obscure hockey blog, then it can’t be all bad right?

  • emonkee

    I just read the comments re Duby on the Predators’ web site. What a nice, agreeable, welcoming group of fans they have. They are happy to have Duby, no negatives and feel that now he has some defense in front of him, he will excel. I have to agree. What do the Oilers’ fans do? Slam Ben Scriven’s wife, call Matt Hendricks a has been, moan about MacT and his choices,and generally moan about everything. Here we go again…………. A little positive energy would sure go a long way. Maybe it’s the fans who are the problem in Edmonton, they’ve blamed everyone else, how about taking some responsibility as well.

    • pkam

      I always wonder why Peca chose Toronto over Edmonton for less money. And Spacek was willing to go to Montreal but would not return to Edmonton.

      Now I start to wonder if Oilers fans are worse than Leafs fans and Habs fans.

    • BLAKPOO

      Thank you!

      It’s easy to understand why everyone’s so mad, we’ve been terrible for so long. But MacT is actually trying to fix the problems. It takes two to dance – just because we all want Shea Weber and Boone Jenner doesn’t mean they can be had.

      He’s added Perron, Gordon, Joensuu, Ference, Bryzgalov, Hendricks and Scrivens. He’s also done this moving only a few picks and the junk from a bottom dwelling hockey club.

      I seriously don’t see how people can think he’s been ineffectual. You can’t become a cup winning team in one year, dealing from a huge point of weakness as we are. Tambo would still be sitting on his hands, counting the light fixtures in Rexall.

      Ragging on the guys he’s brought in to help before you actually see if they’re able to contribute is just wrong. Any moves is good moves for this club.

      Welcome to Edmonton, Ben and Matt. Here’s to finding success with our team!

      • reaperfunkss

        The team got WORSE under Mact’s first year and you ” seriously don’t see how people can think he’s been ineffectual” HIS TEAM IS WORSE!!! thats how people think he is ineffectual

        your a Troll or on the Oiler payroll.

        Perron been good

        Gordon ok

        Joensuu has brought nothing

        Ference has made no difference at all

        Bryz is what he was in Philly. Overrated

        you forgot grebeshkov. remember how Mact knew this guy was ready for a good year after being away from the NHL

        Belov “personally scouted by macT” is average at best

        take your PR efforts to the Oilers site where it belongs

        • BLAKPOO

          Right, so I guess myself and anyone else thinking that MacT has tried to make a positive impact on this team must be on the payroll.

          Brilliant.

          So if you don’t think MacT’s done anything at all to try and improve the train-wreck Tambellini left him, you must be on the Flames’ payroll? Or is it the Canucks?

          Any of the players that have under-performed, or were expected to make more of an impact cost us nothing but a short-term, low-dollar, contract. Maybe in your angry little world the Grebeshkov signing kept Weber off the team? Not sure, don’t care. If he works out, great. He didn’t. OMFG the sky is falling! Damn you MacT and your calculated risk contracts!!!

          Too bad we traded Taylor Hall for Bryzgalov, because he’s over-rated. Oh wait, we didn’t. He just cost us some money and gave us an excuse to banish LaBarbera. Yeah, what a bad deal.

          Maybe you should take your negativity and stupid comments back to you Mom’s basement, where it belongs.

          • reaperfunkss

            aww did I offend you., i will ask my mom to make you a cake.

            So once again no one should be held accountable. You don’t mind losing year after year with the SAME guy pulling the strings?

            You blame tambellini for this mess but think Lowe is free and clear?

            When a person who is not qualified for his job (macT) makes changes they are typically poor. What calculated risk is he taking? The players are underperforming, well who brought these players in? LOWE I will give no credit for effort in a professional sport. Only results.

            Mom wants to know what type of cake you want, Troll

          • BLAKPOO

            Naw.. I don’t get offended by angry kids.

            Don’t remember saying anything about Lowe. I could care less about Kevin Lowe. Fire him tomorrow. I bet the team will still be losing.

            Just so you know, a calculated risk is a risk that you can take with a determinable result. For instance, you can spend some of Katz’s money on a few one year deals – like Grebeshkov and Belov, because if they are utter failures you can put them on waivers and get rid of them altogether, or bury them in the minors with a minimal salary cap hit. I know it might be a little soon for you to process this, you can ask your grade 8 math teacher about it if you’re still having problems.

            ..and don’t bother your Mom about the cake, I’ll ask her when she wakes up. All that hard work made her sleepy, poor thing.

          • Serious Gord

            Grebeshkov and belov weren’t calculated – they were emotional picks:’grebe was someone MacT liked and chose to hire despite there being plenty of other options that cost less and could be had on a two way contract. Below was personally scouted by MacT apparently and hired with little if any input from oilers scouts – a seat of the pants hire if you will, no calculators were harmed.

          • reaperfunkss

            Seems to be a lot of emotional picks. Scrivens played for Eakins on the Marlies.

            Katz picked Lowe, b/c no one else would hang out with Katz.

            Lowe picked MacT and Howson, b/c no one would hang out with Lowe.

            Did better with Tambo, Renney and Krueger, all of whom were voted off the island.

            Now it’s just the boys club.

          • reaperfunkss

            Show me different. Show me the success

            Mact makes moves Oilers still lose.

            too early to evaluate scivens yet but this D will break him down.

            Get me the cheese

  • emonkee

    I agree that Hendricks is not the answer that fans want, he doesn’t score 30G, get 60 pts, he is not a defenceman, and he never played goal in the NHL before. His contract is another 3.5 more years @1.85M, which is not ideal, probably too much considering you can get someone similar in the offseason.

    BUT…

    a) he is brought in not for those stats above. You complain about lack of size, whether it’s top 6 or bottom 6. He is it. He hits more than any of the current oilers.

    b) he can win a faceoff or two over his career, lighten gordon’s load.

    c) he is willing to fight, so it doesn’t have to be Gazdic all the time. From the sound of it, he is willing to drop the gloves for the kids.

    d) contract may be long and $$, but we can always “Belanger” him at the end of the year, trade him for a 7th rd pick or whatever.

    e) this guy hasn’t even play one single game, why the hatred?

    If you expect every guy brought in, i.e. 4th liner, who can chip in 25-30 pts, win faceoffs, play great defence, willing to fight, got size, and an affordable contract, AND a team is willing to give him up for Dubbie…wow, don’t know what world you are living in…

    I am not supporting Hendricks just yet, but at least watch him for a few games first…if he doesn’t pan out, then we can decide.