The Oilers Defensive Depth Chart

Defensive mess

It’s going to be bad.

There is no way around that fact. The Edmonton defence had a lot of nice pieces when Kevin Lowe handed the reins off to Steve Tambellini, and the worst general manager in Oilers history burned it to the ground. It’s going to take time to recover, and there will be major growing pains.

What can Craig MacTavish do in the meantime?

What the Oilers Have

21-Ference-6

Pairing Left Side Right Side
Contender-calibre No. 1 pair
Contender-calibre No. 2 pair Jeff Petry
Contender-calibre No. 3 pair Ference/Marincin/Klefbom Justin Schultz

The simplest way to explain this is to look at Chicago. Nick Leddy and Michal Rozsival is the defence pairing the Blackhawks try to hide from good players; that looks like a pretty interchangeable duo for Andrew Ference and Justin Schultz, who were the Oilers’ top pair for much of last year. Chicago’s No. 4 defenceman (currently shutting down Anze Kopitar with Niklas Hjalmarsson) is Johnny Oduya, who I’d put down as being a slightly lesser version of Jeff Petry.

That means that, by the (admittedly tough) standards of the defending champs, the Oilers have a No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 defenceman and a couple of young players in Martin Marincin and Oscar Klefbom.

Rounding out the incumbents are UFA Taylor Fedun, UFA Mark Fraser and RFA Philip Larsen. One of those guys (if I had a vote, it would be for Fedun) is a nice fit in the No. 8 slot; the other two should only be back on cheap two-way deals if at all.

It’s not a good enough group.

The Tough Job

Craig MacTavish2

It’s pretty unlikely that Craig MacTavish can grab three top-four defencemen over the summer. The big move, the one that’s going to be exceptionally difficult to pull off, is to add even one top-pairing guy.

Free agency is a pretty dicey solution – the options are sort of like the joke Gary Cole’s character on The West Wing told about the vice presidential seal: if you close your left eye and squint really hard and tilt your head just so some of the options look a little bit like top pairing guys. Andrei Markov and Matt Niskanen would both help, but the former is 35 and injury-prone and the latter was his team’s No. 4 option at even-strength and will cost a pile of money.

That leaves trade.

Dion Phaneuf’s name has been a fixture in the rumour mill for two years now, and there are a lot of ways that might be a fit for Edmonton, particularly since the Oilers have the No. 3 pick and Toronto has the No. 8. The Canucks seem a good bet to move a defender. Kris Letang keeps getting mentioned in rumours. Christian Ehrhoff and Keith Yandle are constantly speculated on, too.

Ideally, the defenceman going the other way in our hypothetical trade isn’t the Oilers only legitimate top-four defender (Petry), and ideally it isn’t one of the players with a pile of growing yet to do (Marincin, Klefbom). Given age, size, contract and level of play, Andrew Ference is the logical player to move but he has a no-move clause and the Oilers made their feelings on him clear when they gave him the ‘C’.

2-Petry-11

I’d guess Petry would be the player dealt.

The Other Free Agents

The Oilers have five NHL defenceman right now (counting Klefbom, not counting Darnell Nurse, who should probably go back to junior) which means they either need to trust in Taylor Fedun or add a minimum of two players (three if one goes away to add a legitimate top-pair player).

I’d be looking at the following free agents:

  • Brett Bellemore. Ron Hainsey’s partner in Carolina, Bellemore is the kind of player Oilers fans love – he’s 6’4”, 225 pounds, heavily physical (he led Carolina in hits) and takes care of his own end first. If the Oilers want to add a Matt Greene-type player to the back end, this is the guy to get – he’s just 25, so he should be reliable for the next few years, and his underlying numbers are excellent.
  • Mark Fayne. The defensive defenceman out of New Jersey would bring size (6’3”, 210 pounds) and competence to the Oilers’ back end. He’s played tough minutes for the Devils the last few seasons and looked awfully good doing it.
  • Tom Gilbert. The most polarizing Oilers defenceman since Tom Poti, Gilbert’s here because he can keep his head above water in tough minutes and is going to cost barely anything. Seriously, this guy was $375,000 cheaper than Mark Fraser last year while playing No. 2 minutes effectively for Florida.
  • Ron Hainsey. He could only get a one-year deal last summer, perhaps owing to his militancy during the last lockout. That should be irrelevant to the Oilers. He’s 6’3”, 210 pounds and did a nice job in a top-four role for Carolina last season.
  • Rostislav Klesla. He’d be well down on my list, but at the right price he could be a third-pairing option.
  • Andrej Meszaros. Meszaros has been in freefall over the last three seasons, which coincides with a stretch that includes back surgery (summer 2012) and a shoulder problem (2012-13). He rebounded a bit this year, and at the right price the big (6’2”, 223 pounds) 28-year-old might surprise.
  • Nikita Nikitin. The 6’4”, 223 pound left-shooting rearguard looked like the next big thing two seasons ago. He’s fallen out of favour in Columbus but might be the steal of this summer’s free agent season.
  • Kyle Quincey. He’s probably a No. 4 NHL defender; he becomes an attractive option only if he can’t get a contract early and comes on a bargain deal.
  • Henrik Tallinder. At 35 he’s a stop-gap player, but he’s a big, tough-minutes defender who might be available.

The Bare Minimum

Pairing Left Side Right Side
Tough minutes pairing Martin Marincin Jeff Petry
Tough minutes pairing “Ron Hainsey” “Brett Bellemore”
Offensive zone starts Andrew Ference Justin Schultz
No. 7 slot Oscar Klefbom

This isn’t a playoff-calibre blue line. It has a pair of No.4/No.5 defenders in the top two tough minutes roles. Remarkably, it’s a better setup than what the Oilers started with last season (Smid/Petry, Ference/Schultz, Schultz/Belov, Grebeshkov) which was itself better than what the team ran in 2012-13 (Smid/Petry, Schultz/Schultz, Whitney/Potter, Fistric).

What would a ridiculously, unreasonably good summer look like? Ference+ for a guy like Phaneuf, another top-four guy from free agency (since we’re daydreaming, let’s say Fayne), and a No. 7 who belongs in the top-six (and with injuries, the No. 7 always gets significant minutes).

What does that look like?

Pairing Left Side Right Side
Top all-situations pair “Dion Phaneuf” Jeff Petry
Tough minutes pair Martin Marincin “Mark Fayne”
Offensive zone starts Oscar Klefbom Justin Schultz
No. 7 slot “Brett Bellemore”

Even in this ridiculously optimistic scenario, young players are being counted on to play significant minutes and established NHL’ers are being asked to play above their proven level of ability. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • Judging by history, does anyone have any faith this management can figure it out? Guess we’ll find out since the seem to have all the time in the world to do so. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try and try again. How many tries do they get?

    And don’t feed me this ” it’s all Tambi’s fault”! He was brought in specifically to tear it down and acquire assets. That was his marching order

    • No, Tambellini was hired in the summer of 2008 after the Oilers felt they had completed a mini-rebuild, with a mandate to take the team to the next level.

      Two things then happened:

      • The Oilers weren’t as good as they thought they were.
      • Tambellini made them worse.

      In his second season at the helm, Tambellini’s team cratered so badly that the Oilers opted to make a virtue out of necessity and do a full-fledged rebuild.

      • You’re memory is impressive. All I seem to remember about Tambi is constantly talking about a rebuild. Why was he kept on for the rebuild if his team cratered so badly?

        I like to bi*** about the oilers just for the same of bi***ing about them. It’s the most enjoyment they provide me with. For the life of me I can’t figure out why the main guys are still the main guys. Specifically Lowe of course

  • camdog

    2008-09 edmonton d man:

    Gilbert: bad trade by Tambelinni, Souray: organisational dispute with Tambelini and Lowe, Grebeshkov: on downward projection, Staios: nothing left in the tank, Visnovsky: signed a no trade clause with LA, Lowe traded for him before it kicked in, quietly asked for a trade back to southern california, Smid: bad trade by mact, Strudwick: Depth d-man, whom had nothing left

    To say the least I disagree compeletly with the comment that Tambelinni burned this defence to the ground. That was an awful defence with Souray and Visnovsky hurt most of the time. The only one on that list that Tambeliini could have kept is Gilbert- “The most polarizing Oilers defenceman since Tom Poti’.

    • From Spector:

      “Souray said he never once heard from GM Steve Tambellini. Not even a courtesy call from the GM, who did not respond to a request to speak with sportsnet.ca Sunday evening. “Maybe they think I’m a black sheep,” Souray said. “But it’s not about me — it wouldn’t matter who it happened to. You’d think someone would want to check on the asset, wouldn’t you? The Oilers always prided themselves in being a family. Whatever happened to that? I haven’t talked to (Tambellini) since mid-January.”

      Yeah, that really sounds like Lowe was Souray’s problem.

      As for Visnovsky, do you think he would have bailed so quickly if Tambellini’s hand-picked head coach, Pat Quinn, hadn’t targetted him as the problem on defence?

      So you have Souray, Visnovsky and Gilbert, all on Tambellini’s head. And, by odd coincidence, the Oilers are missing three top-four defencemen today.

      • camdog

        Problem is those are NOT top 4 d-man right now except for possibly Gilbert, whom was hated in this town and signed a league minimal contract last season just to stay in the league. It’s called getting old. An old Souray, an old Visnovsky and a old Staois, an old Strudwick are not top 4 d-man in the NHL.

        Sitting in the minors was nobody. That defence was ready to implode regardless of whom was the GM. It’s like an old trophy bull that can’t walk anymore,if he can’t breed he’s useless. The problem in Edmonton to over value our own, that defensive corpse was not sustainable.

    • Sorensenator

      So let me get this straight, Tambellini was not at fault for the demise of the defense corps?

      So who gets the blame? Are you seriously suggesting it was bad luck that Oilers defense was depleted over Tambellini’s tenure as GM?

      The only good moves Tambellini ever made was drafting Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent Hopkins.

      • camdog

        I just have trouble understanding why people think that defence was going to last? Both Souray and Visnovsky were depth d-man by the time they arrived in Edmonton. To say that they have been top 4 d-man the last 3 years is just not true.

        • camdog

          While that may be true, the Oil have not brought in/maintained enough veteran leadership to support the youth. The kids don’t have anyone to learn from. Who is teaching Schultz how to pinch appropriately (Vis was pretty good at that)? Who is showing the kids how to unleash a wicked one-timer on the PP (Hello Souray)? Who is showing Petry how to be a good all round defender without a heavy physical presence (Gilbert anyone)? How about the scars Staios earned (Ference was brought in just last year)? I agree that none of these players were going to represent at the All Star game but they all had value that would have helped sow the seeds for the future. And we gave them all away. Good teams have great leadership throughout their line-up – whether they are stars or not.

          • camdog

            “I had played in two organizations before Edmonton that were top shelf,” Souray said. “First New Jersey, then Montreal. They were kind of the standard. Then you go somewhere that’s less than that and it’s, ‘Wow, this is interesting.’ ”

            This quote is an honest reflection by Souray after he had time to think about the circumstances, when he arrived in Dallas. Suffice to say I don’t agree with JW’s comment that Tambelinni alone took a respected organisation and in less than year turned it into what Souray is stating. And if he did he should have been fired sooner. The organisational dysfunctionally was inherited by Tambelinni, he didn’t cause it, but then he didn’t help it either.

          • Spaceman Spiff

            I don’t think anyone is defending the organizational culture in this article. We are speaking about procurement and management of defensemen. Are the two related? Maybe to certain degree but Souray’s opinion is countered by many players since and is really quite a unique one. Did Ryan Smyth have a bad thing to say about the organization? How about Hemsky? Or Horcoff? Even a guy like Cogliano admits it was his own stubbornness that prevented him from accepting a move to the wing which lead to him being traded. Whitney was really pissed off at being scratched but hasn’t played more than a handful of games in the NHL since. I think the Oil have a lot of catching up to do in terms of adding on-ice leadership/certain player types. I really couldn’t care less who team president is. Much like a new draft pick, MacT has 5 years to impress me.

          • Strange Tamer

            The dysfunctionality was there in the past (Lowe’s handling of the Comrie trade), not always a professional organization. Tambelinni ehnaced it, and not just with the ridiculous Souray trade, but also they way long time staffers were unceremoniously let go, and I don’t think 6rings was a part of that cause one of the staffers was his brother. Tambellini was not just a puppet, his finger prints of failure are all over this team. I feel for MacT, he has a good hockey mind and is respected, but he inherited a complete mess.

            The Souray debacle was the ultimate screw up of an asset as we paid a guy 5 million dollars not to play in our organization, despite being our best defenseman when healthy. Worse than that it soured the organization’s reputation and discouraged future potential free agents from looking at the Oilers. And Souray’s only crime was stating the truth.

        • Sorensenator

          Visnovsky and Souray were top pairing defensemen while they were here in Edmonton. Souray had 53 pts in 2008/2009 good for 8th in the league among defensemen. Visnovsky had 31 pts in 50 games, and Gilbert and Grebeshkov had 45 and 39 pts respectively.

          Also Visnovsky led all defensemen in scoring 3 years later with 68 pts so your argument saying he was a depth defenseman with the Oilers is completely out to lunch. Same could be said for Souray but he was thrown under the bus by management and was buried in the minors – killed his career.

          This Oilers D core was the 3rd highest scoring tandem in the NHL in 08/09.

          • camdog

            I stand corrected by the time Tambelinni took control of the organisation Souray and Visnovsky were depth d-man or should have been. They haven’t done much since they left. One good year in 4 is not a top 4 d-man.

          • Sorensenator

            You do not stand corrected, Visnovsky was a top pairing D man 3 years after he left the Oilers. It was only the one year because years surrounding it he was battling injuries.

            How can you say a Norris candidate and the top scoring defenseman in the 2010/2011 season was not a top pairing defenseman, completely asinine.

            Souray also would have still been close to a top pairing guy if Tambellini didn’t ruin the rest of his career, probably not now, but three years ago for sure.

  • IMO, free agency is the way to go to fill out the defense.

    And not right away when FAs command top dollar and crazy, Ference-like terms.

    Wait a month or two and pick two NHL regulars for cheap, just like we should have done last year.

  • Serious Gord

    MacT is in his second season and like most gms he will get a 4 or 5 year window to see what he can do and hopefully he can clean up the past mess regardless of who is to blame.The biggest problem the Oilers have had in the past is asset management.
    Other teams seem to be doing quite well with their young dman so why can’t we? let’s start with one high end caliber dman whether it be trade or free agent that can both lead and be a top pairing guy and let all the youngsters play.
    Trading Petry would be another mistake he is just coming into his own as a defenceman.

  • Somehow acquire a Phaneuf/Yandle/Markov (I know)/Letang.. or even Ehrhoff, the poor man fix, and sign Nikitin, and I’d be very happy. I think Nikitin on the 2nd line with Petry would look nice. I don’t want him as the go to guy here though.

    Gilbert.. not really too interested there, to be honest. The right side is mostly covered with Petry and Schultz, do we need a 3rd pairing RHD? I guess he’d be an improvement on what we have (which best guess would be Ference even though he’s lefty)

  • It’s unbelievable. The kids are all given the “A” and praised by the team yet Hemsky says they haven’t stepped up as leaders. Meanwhile players who worked their asses off like Smid or Perron weren’t even mentioned as a big role in the club. This is a recipe for disaster. To have 3 millionaire 20-23 yr kids run your team while the people doing the REAL work for them are either thrown under the bus or traded.

  • Serious Gord

    1. I am in no way convinced that tambellini made a mess of things by himself. I think Klowe was right there okaying what was done or more accurately wasn’t done. Klowe was and is too much of a control freak to let anything happen without his okay (see non-firing of the assistants for corroborating evidence).

    2. Jonathon you assume that any trade for a dman would require the oil sending a dman back. That certainly isn’t the case – the oil needs to find a dancing partner(s) who is long on dman depth and short on scoring power.

    3. Getting a 1/2 dman is where I think the oil should be moving to trade the pick. Right now defensive improvement is THE most critical need (closely followed by a physical 2-way 1/2 centre) and spending the pick to get a good one far outweighs the benefit of a first rounder who won’t contribute for at least three years.

  • Bucknuck

    If they make a deal to get a legit top pairing defender, it better not have Petry heading the other way, since he’s the best NHL ready defender they currently have.

  • I have to believe one of Marincin, Klefbomb, or Nurse is going to exceed expectations next year. And Edmonton will finally have drafted a number one defender.

    With any luck, Ekblad falls to 3 and the Oilers then have two number ones, or a top pair if you will. One on the right, and one on the left.

    Sure it won’t happen tomorrow, but it didn’t take OEL too many seasons to emerge. I could see Ekblad in the OEL range.

    I have mentioned this several times, but why not once more. 3 years time, does this not look like an impressive defense:

    Marincin Ekblad

    Nurse Petry

    Klefbomb Shultz

    ?

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I have mentioned this several times, but why not once more. 3 years time, does this not look like an impressive defense:

      Marincin Ekblad

      Nurse Petry

      Klefbomb Shultz
      ___________________________________________________________________________

      3 yrs time Will, that’ll be an upgrade next season believe it or not. We need to be thinking long term instead of what fans feel they’re owed next season. Playoffs are 3 yrs away no matter what happens with that third selection.

      With this lineup, securing McDavid would be the icing on the cake. All the kids are one year older and one year wiser.

  • Zarny

    Steve Tambellini is arguably the worst GM ever. In any league. Including fantasy and NHL 14.

    When Tambo was hired in July of 2008 the Oilers had just finished 19th with 88 pts ahead of Chi and Van. Hemsky had 71 pt in 74 games and was only 24. Literally just entering his prime. Horcoff 50 pt in 53 games. Penner had 47 pt; also only 24. Depth players 24 and younger included Cogliano, Brodziak and Glencross. The D were Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Staois and Smid.

    Tambo whittled that down to the worst roster in the NHL in 2 years before burning the house down. When he was fired 3 years later he had nothing to show for. Not a single player he brought in was as good let alone better than the players he shipped out. To date, Hall and Nuge are the only draft picks to contribute. Hemsky’s entire prime was wasted.

    So here we are with a roster of swiss cheese talking about the type of players Tambo should have acquired 4 years ago.

    The bare minimum won’t cut it. Marincin and Petry would get destroyed as a top pair.

    From the UFA list I really like Mark Fayne. Not a sexy name but the type of capable top 4 D the Oilers need. Bellemore is interesting but has played less than 100 NHL games. I’d prefer more experience.

    The problem with targeting UFA’s is you have to overpay. Rookie salaries are capped and stars take far less than the max allowed so 5-9 F and 3-5 D are way overpaid because GM’s have cap space. Adding 2-3 D this way is not economically.

    Marincin, Klefbom and Nurse all play the left side. A plan that includes all 3 is foolish. A package including Marincin or Klefbom is likely required.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    ” Steve Tambellini, and the worst general manager in Oilers History”

    You mean ” Steve Tambellini, and the worst general manager in NHL History”

    There’s no way any other gm to ever hold the job put together a worse team record- no way.

    • Zarny

      No I don’t.

      Like it or not, Kevin Lowe wasn’t the GM the last 6 years.

      And the fact that when he was the GM Lowe was aggressive in trading for Roloson, Samsanov, Peca, Pronger, Spacek etc to get to the Cup final and was aggressive with offer sheets to Vanek and Penner the much maligned argument that he was the mastermind behind Tambellini’s dithering isn’t worth a pot to p*ss in.

  • Zarny

    One of Marincin, Klefbom or Nurse will exceed expectations next year?

    You mean just like Yakupov last year right?

    A plan that revolves around kids with virtually no experience exceeding expectations is doomed for failure.

    For reference, see the Oilers’ last 4 years.

  • Zarny

    I still believe that Tambo did as he was told. Staffer was selling the full rebuild from early on in the process using the Pens and Hawks as hopeful comparables. I think that the entire organization was on board with pulling the plug for a few years knowing full well that the fans would stick around through it all.

    Problem is, they only ended up with 2 very good players and one work in progress and they have sent away several of the elder statesmen that could provide a hint of what leadership and hard work look like.

    When the lights have been dark for so long, you can’t just flick the switch one day and turn a winning/hard working/proud culture back on.

  • Dockstaff

    Forget Phaneuf, he’s done. He telegraphs his big hits, is a poor leader, and has almost no offensive upside anymore.
    Bellemore and Hainsey would be really good. Quincey could be a good bridge until the kids are ready. I think trades could be made with Vancouver, they’re about to begin a rebuild whether they like it or not. Bieksa, Hamhuis, even Edler will be on the block as they build around Garrison and Weber. They’ll need top draft picks now if they want to avoid what we’re facing.

  • Tikkanese

    Speculation over how much authority was delegated to Tambelinni, how much involvement did Lowe have in each manoeuvre, etc. is a red-herring.

    In any functional organization, a person at the top of a comand structure is responsible for all underneath him, not just the person immediately below him. If a CEO loses money for the corporation, he’s responsible, even when it is an underling who is directly responsible.

    Lowe may not have been directly involved with a poor decision made during Tambelinis’s tenure, but that doesn’t matter. As President of Hockey Operations, he is responsible for the state of the team during his tenure (which includes Tambelinni). Though I’m sure he’d like to, Lowe cannot wash his hands of Tambelinni and pretend he didn’t exist during that period. Lowe must own up.
    If he is not accountable, then there’s no such thing as the word accountable.

    • Do what Weight did?

      Okay Kevin O’Leary, let me try one for you.

      Keeping KLowe and the management team would be like paying the CEO’s of major American financial institutions 8 or 9 digit bonuses using tax-funded bailout money; which was needed because those CEO’s ran their companies into the ground with bad financial decisions, risks they couldn’t cover and illegal sales of obviously faulty assets.

  • Do what Weight did?

    Are you stupid?
    No no not Dion Enough, at $6 millions plus a season for an over rated Dman?
    Why did Calgary dumped him and now Toronto?
    I m in Toronto, an Oilers fan, don’t get Dion.

  • Benny Botts

    JW,

    Do you think Niskanen makes it to FA or do you think the Pens re-sign him. I’ll throw out a couple options and this is just EA Sports pipe dreaming here, throwing stuff out there to see if it might stick….

    Trade Petry + Prospects and a high draft pick for Phanuef and Sign Niskanen, and Fayne. Your left with

    1 – Phanuef Niskanen
    2 – Marincin Fayne
    3 – Ference Schultz

    And have whoever as your 7th. I know its a pipe dream, but man that would be a serious improvement.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Good piece here. Hard to argue with any of it. The Oilers don’t have enough NHL-calibre defencemen.

    That said, I’m not sure if Chicago’s defensive corps is a fair comparison. Realistically, the Oilers need to catch the 7th and 8th best teams in the conference. They’re not catching Chicago anytime soon.

    So, I think an interesting future article would be an analysis piece of the Oilers’ defence as compared to that of the Minnesota Wild or Dallas Stars. The Oilers still aren’t going to look very good, by comparison, obviously, but it might shed some light on what bubble-teams have in their first, second and third pairings.

  • Tikkanese

    Signing/trading for a bunch of mid-pairing D and hoping one or two can shine doesn’t work. Look at Brian Burke’s(mostly) Leafs. He tried every year bringing in around 9-10 middling D hoping some would shine but their D never ended up being any good. Komisarek, Finger etc

    Hopefully MacT can land a top pairing D or two. Even some older D that will be stop gaps while the Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin etc get better.

  • Tikkanese

    JW;the league average for EVGA/60 is 2.33
    the league average for tough Comp D is 2.47 EVGA/60

    S. Weber with Suter 2.11 EVGA/60
    S. weber with Klien 2.55 EVGA/60
    S. weber this Year 2.75 EVGA/60
    Martin Marincinn 1st Comp 3rd teamates 2.14 EVGA/60

    Ference faced first comp and was 2.37 EVGA/60 Dman until he tore his Pec and showed a marked fall off to 4.5+ EVGA/60

    Petry had terrible EVGA/60 until Dubnyk was replaced.

    When I look at our Current D.

    At the start of the year with Dubnyk as Starter.
    Ference and Petry faced 1st comp.They were 2.37 EVGA/60.

    Smid was moved
    N. schultz was moved.

    Marincin was brought in and took over the 1st comp Role with
    Petry 2.34 EVGA/60
    and
    Schultz 2.11 EVGA/60

    Klefbom faced 2nd and #rd comp with the toughest Zones start of any D in the league this year. 35% he was 3.69 EVGA/60

    Larsen face d 2nd/3rd Comp and 3.69 EVGA/60 with Smid, Belov, ANd Fraser.
    Larsen was 1.53 EVGA/60 with Ference; Schultz; Marincin; Petry; Klefbom.

    So we can exppect to have Ferecne; Petry; Schultz; Marincin on the team. who were better than average for Tough Comp EVGA.

    I would hope Larsen is brought Back as the 4th line RW who has the abilty to slot on 3rd pair D when youth are having a bad game. Cause his 1.54 EVGA with Dmen still on roster is Elite.

    Hendrick-Gordon-Larsen

    Ference-Petry
    Marincin-Schultz
    Klefbom-XXX
    Nurse

  • Tikkanese

    I agree with some comments regarding steady guys. I just want a couple defensemen who can stop a cycle in the oilers zone and just dump off the glass, nothing fancy just stop the freaken cycle. don’t worry about the first pass. Just stop that damn cycle that destroys us!

  • Tikkanese

    JW, why do you keep flying the Tom Gilbert balloon? That one flew away a long time ago and as my dear grandpa said never revisit a mistake. You insist on pumping his tires just like Lowetide insists that “pancake Penner” will one day wake up and be Frank Mahovalich or whatever…Sheesh I say
    Its bad enough we we collect other peoples mistakes on this team lets not go back and resign ours again.