The trade deadline is a week away. The Oilers have a very light week with only two games — tomorrow in Minnesota and Saturday they host the Blues. That means Jeff Petry will finish his career has an Oiler playing a maximum of 296 games. If he dresses for both he’ll sit 46th all-time amongst Oilers in games played. Only Jordan Eberle has played more games as an Oiler courtesy of Hockeyreference.com.
Petry will not be accepting a contract offer from the Oilers — why would he when he is so close to being an UFA? — so Craig MacTavish will trade him away for a draft pick, or more likely a prospect. The Oilers will be a worse team by next Monday afternoon.
I outlined last week why I believed MacTavish never felt Petry was going to be part of the long-term solution in Edmonton. That is fine to think that way — every GM will evaluate players they like more than others — but when you replace him with less talented players it looks like a very bad decision. My main concern is the organization’s ability to properly evaluate defencemen. Petry is an example of a flawed organizational rating system.
The frustrating part for Oilers fans must be watching how the roster has gotten worse in the past two months by dealing away David Perron and Petry. At some point the Oilers need to make trades to improve the team. MacTavish did that when he acquired Perron on July 10th, 2013 for Magnus Paajarvi and a draft pick, but 17 months later he dealt Perron for a 4th liner, Rob Klinkhammer, and a 1st round pick.
One step forward, but now one step back. The Oilers have not improved from April, 2013 when he took over. Based on MacTavish’s comments last week, he feels the team is built to succeed. Time will tell, but I don’t see how.
HITS AROUND THE LEAGUE
Drew Doughty has to be the most under appreciated player in the NHL. I don’t see any D-man that I would take ahead of him if I’m building a team, however, since 2010 he hasn’t even been top-five in Norris Trophy voting. Doughty finished third in voting in 2010, but here’s how he’s finished since.
2011: Tied for 10th. He had one 2nd place vote and one 5th.
2012: He didn’t get one top-five vote. Willie Mitchell, his teammate in LA, received one 5th place vote.
2013: He was 9th. He had one 2nd, two 3rds, seven 4ths and five 5ths.
2014: Finished 6th. He had eight 1sts, six 2nds, 17 third place votes, 18 4ths and 23 fifths.
The LA Kings don’t score many goals. They are 24th in goals over the past five seasons (not including this year), and only Florida (914), Minnesota (931), New Jersey (933), Edmonton (947) and Buffalo (980) have scored fewer than the Kings (993). It seems Doughty gets punished by the voters because of his low offensive totals.
Doughty is not going to consistently put up big offensive numbers in the regular season due to the Kings’ style of play, but how people don’t view him as one of the top-three defenders in the league is surprising.
Just for a reference point. He’s a quick comparison of Duncan Keith and Doughty. Keith has been in on 20.1% of the Blackhawks’ goals from 2010-2014. He won two Norris Trophies. Doughty has been in on 19.5% of the Kings’ goals.
- The difference is Keith has outscored Doughty 242-194 in those five years. The Hawks scored the most goals in the NHL the past five seasons 1199 to the Kings 993. Doughty seems to get punished because his teammates don’t score nearly as often when he isn’t on the ice compared to Keith’s supporting cast. And when he is on the ice his teammates aren’t nearly as offensively dangerous as Keith’s.
- It was a year ago today that Canada’s men’s hockey team defeated Sweden 3-0 to win Gold at the Sochi Olympics. Fun stat regarding goalies from February 23rd, 2014 to today.
Carey Price has the best sv% at .935. Devan Dubnyk is 3rd best at .925. Granted he has only played 35 games compared to Price’s 58, but there is no denying Dubnyk is on a great streak. You can see which other goalies are in the top-20 here, courtesy of Apron Basu.
- I’m curious to see what Colorado and Dallas do before next Monday. They are both six points out of the playoffs, with Calgary and San Jose ahead of them as well. Will they make a small tweak or do nothing and hope their recent improved play will continue.
- The Sharks are the most interesting team to watch. They tried to deal Thornton and Marleau in the summer, but both players refused to waive their NMC. Have either changed their mind now, or will the Sharks have to look elsewhere. I’ve heard that Thornton is a bit more open to a move, but he’d still prefer to stay in San Jose.
- I don’t see the Oilers trading anyone other than Petry. I don’t see any benefit in moving Gordon or Hendricks. I explain here.
- Chicago is 10-10-3 since January 1st. With Kane and Toews’ contract extension beginning next season, this is their last chance to take a serious run at the Cup for a year or two. Their depth will take a major hit when Toews and Kane eat up $21 million of the team’s salary cap. The Hawks only have $1.3 million in cap space, but I expect them to use all of it an try to add some depth before next Monday.
- The Flyers are never afraid to make moves and now that they are only four points behind Boston, I won’t be surprised if they make a deal or two to add players, rather than be sellers.
- The two best teams in the NLL are at Rexall Place this Friday night. The Rush host the Toronto Rock in what should be a great game. Check it out.
Recently by Jason Gregor:
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- Jetting Back to the West
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