According to an article in the Edmonton Sun by Terry Jones, Craig MacTavish won’t rush the kids, including the defensemen.One problem: They’re already better than the veterans.
Quoting the article, quoting MacTavish:
- “We’re not going to compromise our young prospects on defence,” he
said of forcing the likes of Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom, Martin
Marincin, etc. into the line-up until they are ready.
“We’d rather they played in the American Hockey League or junior.”
Music! Love it! One problem. Martin Marincin is better than the other LH veterans, and Klefbom is close enough for jazz.
VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER OILER BLUE
A quick summary of the graph: Blue bubble like Marincin’s (this is Corsi Rel) is very good, Petry/Belov good, Klefbom a little good. Justin Schultz and Andrew Ference—not so good. Also, Oscar Klefbom and Mark Fraser have the tough zone starts, and Petry/Marincin face the toughs.
WHAT DOES THE VOLLMAN TELL US?
Prospects don’t develop in a straight line, and maybe Martin Marincin arrives at camp looking like a rookie pro. I don’t think it’s likely, and I can’t imagine Dallas Eakins giving up his big defenseman—unless the Oilers plan on grabbing two LH defensemen who are in fact better and have more experience.
The bottom line is this: It’s all well and good to say you’re sending the kids back to the American League, but when they’re performing better than your veterans it’s a tough sell.
I can’t imagine a scenario where a healthy and effective Marincin sees the AHL next season, and the same is basically true for Klefbom (although he could start there again, depending on the summer).
And Nurse? We’ll see. A lot of things get said in June, it’s a lot different when the rubber hits the road.
(Photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)