The Edmonton Oilers have recalled Brad Hunt from the minors this morning. The club is looking for ways to improve their 5×4 play and it’s likely they consider Hunt’s shot from the point the best available in the organization. The recall brings us many questions, including: Where does Martin Marincin fit in with this organization? DOES Martin Marincin fit with this organization?
Martin Marincin is one of the few Oilers picks outside the first round who appears to be a legit NHL prospect. His play one year ago was one of the bright spots in the organization, offering hope to the fanbase and considerable cover for a team badly in need of effective defensemen.
This season has been full of down arrows for the young blue. He has played in the NHL this year but was inconsistent when in Oilers silks. It is worth mentioning though that Marincin’s struggles came against tough competition, as shown by Rob Vollman’s graph.
Blue is good (that’s a plus possession number) and Marincin is in the toughest part of the graph: Zone starts under 50% and the most difficult opposition available. Marincin’s role on the Oilers wasn’t the soft parade (represented here by Justin Schultz) but rather the tougher minutes in a game.
And it’s a blue bubble. Positive possession, tough competition. Why would you keep that in the minors? It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle hiding behind the Oilers logo. One could speculate Marincin’s demotion and continued exile is directly related to Connor McDavid’s availability this summer, but that’s a very cynical viewpoint.
BRAD HUNT’S SLEDGEHAMMER
Brad Hunt is in the soft area of the graph, getting positive zone starts and facing the softest opposition available. That’s not a criticism of usage, Dallas Eakins has Hunt in the exact spot he should be playing. The real question here is why would you have Brad Hunt playing defense for the Edmonton Oilers 5×5 when Martin Marincin is also available?
Part of the answer is the power play. Edmonton’s man advantage has been no advantage at all and Brad Hunt owns a howitzer from the blue line. The Oilers thought they had solved the point-shot issue in the summer with Niki Nikitin but his bomb has been as rare as an Oilers win this year.
The Oilers have recalled Brandon Davidson and Brad Hunt in the last few days while also keeping Martin Marincin down on the farm. I am absolutely open to ideas that run counter to ‘excavated for McDavid’ but there’s something about this recall that doesn’t make any sense. As much as help is needed for the power play, sending Brandon Davidson down and recalling Martin Marincin would improve this team’s 5×5 group immediately.
The Vollman Sledgehammer tells a disturbing story about today’s roster move.