What Would You Do Wednesday: Waiver Wire!

Peter Chiarelli3

Defenceman Kevin Connauton was claimed off waivers by Arizona on Wednesday, but he was quickly replaced on the wire by two other players. Unlike Connauton, both fit positions of potential need for Edmonton. Cody Hodgson is a centre with a history of offensive production, while Nate Guenin is a big right-shot defender.

Should the Oilers be interested in either? That’s our question in this week’s edition of What Would You Do Wednesday.

Cody Hodgson

A year ago, the Edmonton Oilers claimed grabbed another cheap Nashville centre on a show-me contract. Derek Roy turned out to be a good addition to the team, meshing well with Nail Yakupov and giving the Oilers a strong secondary scoring line in the back half of the year. Could they do something similar with Hodgson?

According to Predators general manager David Poile, Hodgson is on waivers because the team had one expectation for him and he didn’t meet it:

We signed him to enhance our [offence] and it didn’t happen. You look for other areas that maybe a player can help you—checking or penalty killing or some other area. Really, I think we were pretty honest with Cody and told him that he had to produce offensively, and he hasn’t. This is the move.

Hodgson is 25 years old, and on a cheap one-year, $1.05 million contract. His on-ice shot and goal numbers aren’t terrible, but need to be taken in context: he played sheltered minutes. Offensively, he’s been floundering for three seasons now:

  • 2012-13: 48 games, 34 points, 2.06 five-on-five points/hour
  • 2013-14: 72 games, 44 points, 1.34 five-on-five points/hour
  • 2014-15: 78 games, 13 points, 0.83 five-on-five points/hour
  • 2015-16: 39 games, eight points, 0.88 five-on-five points/hour

He’s a right shot and scored nine power play goals in 2013-14. He hasn’t scored any since.

His offensive numbers have been affected by poor personal and poor on-ice shooting percentages, both of which could plausibly recover. He might also potentially bring more scoring to the Oilers bottom-six, particularly since he would likely be displacing offensive non-factor Anton Lander from the scoring rotation.

Having said all that, I would argue against putting in a claim, unless Edmonton’s management anticipates clearing out a bunch of forwards via trade in the near future and sees the need for a warm body. Hodgson is ill-suited to the role that Lander and Mark Letestu have been playing (a role which includes penalty kill work and double-shifting at times for faceoffs) and it’s hard to see him as a long-term fit.

Nate Guenin

The position of greatest concern for Edmonton at the moment is on right defence, where none of Justin Schultz, Eric Gryba or Mark Fayne are necessarily going to be back after the trade deadline, let alone next season. Does it make sense to take a chance on 6’3”, 207-pound rearguard Nate Guenin?

Guenin is in his third year with the Colorado Avalanche, having emerged as a regular on the team after spending the previous six years bouncing around the AHL and getting yearly major-league cameos. The 33-year-old is cheap, with a cap hit of just $800,000, and he’s in the final year of his current contract.

His on-ice metrics look pretty rocky:

  • 2013-14: 45.6 percent Fenwick rating, 0.50 five-on-five points/hour
  • 2014-15: 40.0 percent Fenwick rating, 0.86 five-on-five points/hour
  • 2015-16: 40.8 percent Fenwick rating, 0.00 five-on-five points/hour

Even on a Colorado team that gets lit up on the shot clock, Guenin’s on-ice shot numbers are particularly bad. There’s no upside here; given his age he’s as good as he’s ever likely to be. In all likelihood, the Oilers would be better off brining up a Griffin Reinhart or David Musil and pressing them into service on the right side than they would be putting a claim in on Guenin.

That’s just my view, though. As always with WWYDW, we turn to the comments section: Do either Guenin or Hodgson appeal to you?

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • Reg Dunlop

    If somehow Yakupov, plus, plus is in the works to land us Shattenkirk or something involving Eberle for a top 2 D man, I’d say Hodgson would be worth taking a chance on

    • mithaman

      Reinhart is developing in the minors as he should. No need to rush him. If he’s not ready, he’s not ready. No need to repeat previous mistakes of the past. This does not mean he is worse than the other D-men, it means it is best for his development to stay in the minors.

        • Dude, if all you are using to measure the value and effectiveness of a D-man are shots taken and points scored, then I tend to think that you don’t know much about the position, and perhaps hockey itself. There’s a reason why it takes longer to produce good defencemen than it does a strong forward, maybe it’s a complex position, just maybe???

  • Randaman

    It is not a cap room issue. These players are poor performers. Taking one onto the team means another has to go. While I am not excited about the performance of the current players (specifically right D as Hodson makes no sense) to date, I don’t think it is of value to bring in a poor performer to take one of their places. He is not better than any of our right D currently.

    • bradleypi

      I’ve been saying that since the start of the season. Trade nuges 6mill contract at the deadline and bring in a player on an entry level deal. Somehow Columbus is worse than the oilers so even if the oilers miraculously don’t win the draft lottery theres always puljarvi. And the Chiarelli rebuild will officially be under way! 4-5 more years of no playoffs because he refuses to add defencemen to this team!

        • bradleypi

          Exactly my point. And I know oilersnation loves sekara like they loved petry but he’s a 2nd pairing guy at best. Hence why the oilers are last in the west in the worst division in hockey.

        • bradleypi

          Ya man. I get how trades work. I guess that Chiarelli should just wait for someone to come and drop a dman off at his step at exactly the price he wants? If that’s the case we might as well just sit back and get ready to watch the world championships for the next 3 years till Klef, nurse and Reinhart are ready. And regurgitate all the “Mact and klowe arent letting Chiarelli do anything!” stories for the next 3 years! Good times!

          • toprightcorner

            Wasn’t questioning your hockey intelligence. Just trying to point out that in this era of salary cap & roster limits (23 & 50) that it is harder & harder to make moves in this league, hence why very little movement in trade department.

            The only significant defenseman that has been moved that would have fit for Oilers is Seth, don’t think Edmonton had what it takes to complete that deal,RNH is not considered a BIG STRONG centre and with the salaries that RNH,Hall & Eberle have Edmonton will have to either add to the deal or at the least eat salary.

            Here is to hoping that Chiarelli can make a deal for a D-man & some much needeed sandpaper up front.

  • Jaxon

    Go back in time and not trade Tobias Reider!!! Uggh, that one has frustrated me so much since the day it happened. Now he’s on pace for 50 pts! How good would he look replacing Teddy Purcell on that top line with fellow German, Draisaitl.

          • Hype? Odd word to choose here but ok.

            Plenty of Oilers fans are on record saying it was a terrible idea to trade a player who looked like he could become a useful NHL player for a guy trending towards a middling AHL career.

            You may find it hard to believe but the *gasp* numbers also supported this conclusion.

            It was the minority who actually expected this trade to pan out.

          • pkam

            I am one who hated this trade.

            If I remember correctly, Reider was 2nd after Landeskog in Rangers in his draft year, and 1st in Rangers in his draft + 1. And he played really well in the WJC.

      • Jaxon

        I did on CopperNBlue the day of the trade:

        “Well f*ckity-f*ck-f*ck. That’s just sad.

        I think guys like Rieder do fit into the bottom 6. At least on winning teams. So, just not on the Oilers. This pains me so.
        To give us an idea of where his skill level fit in and what his potential might be:

        OHL Best Points per Game from last season of players that were 19 or younger coming into this season:
        Brandon Saad (LW) 1.73 pts/gp – on top line in Chicago this year
        Nail Yakupov (RW) 1.64 pts/gp – our #2 in top 25 under 25
        Shane Prince (LW) 1.58 pts/gp – 2nd top scorer on Binghamton Senators this year
        Ryan Strome © 1.48 pts/gp – Top Islanders prospect
        Dougie Hamilton (D) 1.44 pts/gp – Future Star in Boston
        Tobias Rieder (RW) 1.42 pts/gp

        Thats’ some pretty decent company. I think 4 of those players will likely become stars. Prince and Rider may end up in the minors, but they’re definitely worth holding onto until you absolutely know what you have. Especially when that players responsible defensive play matches his offensive output. Rider is known for his responsible play. So frustrating. And if you do let him go, at least get something back besides a 4th line minor league face puncher, which we have way too many.

        by Jaxon-H on Mar 29, 2013 | 9:56 PM”

        AND 2 days later in response to someone saying that 3rd and 4th picks have a slim chance anyhow:

        “Except that they’ve played 2 seasons since they were picked and the one we gave away has shown signs that he could very likely be one of the ones that makes it. He is defensively responsible, plays on special teams, has recently moved to center (a position we’re light on) and has shown exceptional offensive skills (last year only Yakupov, Strome, Hamilton, Prince & Saad outscored him among players 19 or younger). He has been a team leader for the past two years. And Kessy? Ummm, he gets a lot of penalty minutes, still can’t score at a point-per-game pace in his 5th WHL season (4th fullseason). And why did 2 teams dump him in trades this season? He’s played on 3 teams this year. Why? If you look throughout the NHL, there are very few players, even on the bottom 6, that didn’t score at a point-per-game pace. Especially if they played junior for 4 years. This guy will never make the NHL. Whereas, Reider, has the potential to be a bottom 6 player that could even play up with the top 6 boys. That, is exactly what the Oilers need, not more face-punchers. Not that Kessy even does this very much. He just gets penalties. And at, let’s say, a 20% power play rate in hockey, with 150 PIM he probably cost his team 15 goals against while sitting in the box.

        by Jaxon-H on Mar 31, 2013 | 10:52 AM”

  • bradleypi

    I am guessing that PC is not concerned with making the playoffs or he would have done something by now. I guess we accept the inevitable and wait for the trade deadline when the vision of the club that PC wants for the future will be made clear by who he puts up for sale.

  • bazmagoo

    I have been a bitter opponent of the Kassian experiment from the time the initial rumors started flying. His substance abuse issues don’t make me like or dislike him any more or less, of course for him to be of use to any team these must be behind him. Nor does his ending of Sam Gagner’s career. My concerns about Kassian with the Oil in general and about the timing of the call up at this time are summarized below:

    • His coach does not think his conditioning is what its needs to be;
    • Has he shown he can withstand the ups and downs (both physically and emotionally) of professional hockey without succumbing to his previous supports (i.e, substance abuse);
    • What message does this send to the organization wrt earning a spot?
    • He would not stand up to Gazdic when challenged, why would he stand up to help a team mate or indeed standup for himself?
    • The Oil players have given the only answers they could when asked about Kassian being acquired . However I am concerned Kassian may be counterproductive from team building standpoint nless Kassian proves , on the ice, that he will stand up for himself and his team mates. His recent actions suggest he won’t do either.