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Photo Credit: © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Seriously, Klefbom?

Tuesday on Hockey Central the venerable Elliotte Friedman speculated that the Oilers were not shutting Oscar Klefbom down because they wanted to showcase him for a potential trade. Naturally, this is a terrible idea for a number of reasons. In any sane and rational world, it would be unbelievable. Because Peter Chiarelli is the Oilers’ General Manager and the Oilers are…well…the Oilers, it isn’t just believable – it’s almost probable.  

Rationality isn’t Chiarelli’s strong-suit. Take, for instance, his assertion that he needed cap space this past summer in the event of an offer-sheet made to Leon Draisaitl. He traded Eberle for Strome (savings) but then immediately signed Russell which meant he had less cap space to defend against an offer sheet than what was available just 24 hours prior — it doesn’t make sense.

PLAYING INJURED

So too does it not make sense to force an injured player to continue playing injured so you can get more eyes on him playing injured because you think that will help you in a trade. If Oscar Klefbom is at a point in the season where shutting him down for several weeks is a legitimate option, then surely it’s affecting his play. I think we can all see that he has avoided overly physical situations in favour of a shoulder and that his shot has less zip on it than it did a year ago.

Assuming then that it is unlikely a player who COULD be shut down will start to improve drastically over the final 15 or so games of the season (especially as the Oilers play almost every other night), Oscar Klefbom’s trade value is unlikely to improve. If management is praying that Klefbom has 10 good games to prove he’s as good as ever then this decision is based on hope, not rational thought.

Oh, and as a fun side note, Klefbom and Russell were paired together in practice yesterday, but they have a 35.3% GF ratio when paired together this season. If Klefbom is being showcased, the team is putting its absolute worst foot forward in showing what he can do.

Of course, this doesn’t even begin to scratch at the real issue here, which is that trading Klefbom is – most likely – a colossally stupid idea. I’m not saying that there is no trade that the Oilers can make with Klefbom that cannot be a win. I’m simply saying that there is nothing the history of Peter Chiarelli or the Boys on the Bus who lurk in the head office that gives even the slightest hope of winning such a trade. The modern Oilers are a franchise built on a bedrock of failure at the defensive position. Chiarelli’s past is almost exclusively filled with lost hockey trades.

Who among us has confidence that the Oilers can trade their top minute defenseman and come out the other side a winner? I certainly do not.

PLAYING POORLY

Oct 19, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom (77) controls the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at United Center. Oilers won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

“But Klefbom is awful this season! Trade him now.”

First of all, I thought maybe some people would have learned their lesson after trading Jordan Eberle after a single bad season – at his lowest possible value. Apparently, I was wrong about that. The only lesson that was learned by some is, I guess, that now the Oilers need wingers so trading their top defender is necessary. Frankly, I blame Alberta’s teachers for failing the children they were tasked to impart some wisdom into. What excuse do these people have when there are real people roaming the streets trying to tell everyone that Klefbom is to blame for this poor Oiler campaign?

Oscar Klefbom is an Oiler draft pick who they actually tried to develop properly. He was kept in Europe for two seasons. He was brought into the AHL where he started from the bottom and had to earn his ice. He eventually became their top defender and only then did he become a full-time NHL player. He rose through the ranks in the NHL until he became the Oilers’ top defender. It was all a straight line of development (which NEVER happens) until this season, where he’s struggled.

This is the first sign of trouble in Klefbom’s actual game. He’s had injury problems, no doubt. He has had shoulder issues (like what’s allegedly bothering him now), he’s had a strange infection while in Sweden brought on by a skate cut, and he had a staph infection in his foot that required surgery and re-fitted boots. But in terms of his actual quality of play, this is the only season where he’s been questioned.

When we look at Klefbom’s stat line there are a few things that jump out at me. Among the five regular Oiler defenders (Klefbom, Benning, Larsson, Nurse, Russell), Klefbom is second in unblocked shot attempt percentage and second in shot percentage, but he’s last in goals for percentage. When you drill down into what is really wrong with Oscar’s season, the biggest issue appears to be the fact that he has an on-ice save percentage of just .901 behind him. It’s the lowest of all the Oiler defenders.

On-Ice Save Percentage is one half of the combination that makes up the stat known as PDO (named after the user who devised it). PDO is an expression of luck, essentially. It’s the shooting percentage and save percentage while a particular player is on the ice and it combines very closely to 1.000 (or 100 depending on how you record your numbers). For reasons the universe likes to keep secret, the pull to 1.000 is incredibly strong. Klefbom’s PDO is 0.971 this year. Last season, the only defensemen (min 1000 minutes) with a lower PDO were Ekblad, Krug, Gostibehere, Martinez, Tyutin, and Muzzin.

It’s also very difficult to make the claim that skaters can control the save percentage of their goaltenders. Nobody has been able to link defensemen to tangible, repeatable changes in save percentage. So if someone insists that’s the case then they have to provide some real evidence for it. This would mean that Oscar Klefbom is not to blame for Cam Talbot’s problems behind him, even if it’s Hockey tradition to blame the defence for the shortcomings of the netminder.

MONEY TROUBLE

Oct 19, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom (77) blocks a shot against the Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) during a game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

But if we ignore the fact that this is Klefbom’s first bad season AND the fact that it seems to be heavily influenced by things that are out of his control (injury and questionable goaltending, we STILL haven’t touched on maybe the most compelling reason why trading Klefbom is a terrible idea. The NHL is governed by a Salary Cap and Chiarelli has placed Edmonton into a tough place moving forward because he’s definitely overpaid for Russell and Lucic, he probably overpaid for Draisaitl, he’s rightfully paying McDavid a league-high salary, and injury has reduced Sekera’s rate of return to negative value. With Nurse and Benning also needing new contracts along with several others, money is tight. Oscar Klefbom is a valuable contract.

Klefbom makes just $4.167M on the cap for the duration of his prime years. He is 24 today and is signed for 5 more seasons. The Salary Cap is potentially going up to 80 million next year. The likelihood that the Oilers will find a defenseman who can play 23 minutes a night, on both special teams, and move the puck at less than Klefbom’s salary is pie-in-the-sky dreaming. There’s no guarantee the Oilers can even sign Nurse to a lower salary.

Because the Oil are paying so many players at or above full market value, the team needs to find under-valued contracts. Over the next 5 years, the chance of Klefbom NOT returning value for that contract is extremely low. Even this year where his personal shooting percentage is half his career average and his PDO is in the tank, it’s hard to argue that Klefbom isn’t playing like a four-million-dollar defender. That’s before we even get into what Chiarelli thinks four million buys on defence.

When it comes to the prospect of trading Oscar Klefbom, I ‘m not surprised this is something Chiarelli would consider. He, of all NHL GMs, has a history of bailing on good young players at the first sign of trouble. He’s extremely prone to falling for the wild swings of PDO. Overall, he’s generally bad at his job. However, playing Klefbom through an injury for the sake of showcasing him is just as bad an idea as trading him at all. And trading him is just a really, really bad idea. I mean, unless you can get a signed Karlsson.

  • JimmyV1965

    This article is truly pathetic. Because Friedman speculates, you write an entire article on it? It’s gross and creepy and a sad excuse for journalism. But of course you’re not a journalist.

    • TomahawkThought

      This comment is truly pathetic. Because Henderson writes interesting material, you write a pointless comment about it? It’s gross and creepy and a sad excuse for commenting. But of course you’re not competent at commenting.

      Note: This is the one non-oiler related post I will allow myself to post. I just find it increasingly agonizing to constantly scroll through these trite comments that have no value to the conversation established by the topic of the article.

      C’mon man.

    • That's My Point

      Friedman also said Draisaitl was trending in the wrong direction this year.
      2016: 0.71 pts/game
      2017: 0.94 pts/game
      2018: 0.97 pts/game
      He’s not watching the Oilers so he shouldn’t comment on them.
      No sense selling Kleff low.

      • crabman

        @ That’s My Point, when did Friedman say Draisaitl is trending in the wrong direction? Not saying he didn’t I just didn’t see/hear this. A few weeks ago on HNIC when the panel talked about if they would trade Draisaitl he urges them to put on the brakes because the likelihood of winning a trade involving trading away Draisaitl is unlikely. And praised how good he is.

      • lobby91

        To be fair, Drai had a slow start and he’s gotten most of his points playing on Connor’s wing, I may assume by trending in the wrong direction he may have meant trending toward becoming a full-time winger

        • crabman

          @lobby91, van you please, or anyone else, tell me the name of the site you use to look at points players score with and without other players? I know I sound like I’m being a jerk but I’m really not trying to I honestly would like to know where this information comes.from because I know it is out there. I know I read in an Oilersnation articvle this week they have played less together this year, 44% I believe. Down from 53% last year. And Draisaitl’s pp points are way down but he is on pace for the same amount of points as last year. That would lead me to believe that he isn’t just scoring as a result of playing with McDavid and is in fact playingv more at center as well. But like I said I don’t have access to a website that shows me the difference. A point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

  • Big Nuggets

    Don’t trade a player heading into his prime on a good contract. Simple, if salary cap is the issue then Chia should have been smart enough not to sign the Russel contract.

    • OilersFan999

      The only big problem with the Russell contract is the no movement clause that limits potential trades concerning he is playing top line minutes half the time and leads the team in points for a defenceman he is slightly over paid because he is a veteran leader on the team

      • Big Nuggets

        Im not criticizing Russell’s game, but the future cap implications was the first thing I thought of when the deal was signed. I hope an NHL GM would be aware of the implications before making a deal like this, but its hard to tell with Chia. Im waiting to see his plan, or lack there of, to deal with the cap this off-season. Suffice to say if we have to trade away Klef or Nuge because of the salary cap I will be supremely choked.

  • Anthony Harmon

    Matt, just a little piece of career advice to help you out. When you constantly focus only on the negative side of a situation and never take a moment to explore the reason something is being considered, you lose all credibility. You really need to drop the ‘old boys’ schtik, it is tired, inaccurate, and lazy. You could have some good material, then you ruin it by focusing solely on problems, never solutions. Be better than that, Matt, your readers deserve it. I think you really do have some good stuff, it’s just lost way too often in the endless ramblings of doom and negativity. All the best, Matt.

    • Svart kaffe

      It actually helps to try to understand the reason behind a decision instead of settling for the gut instinct of crying “ur stupid waah” all the time. Makes for a more interesting read for sure.

    • PimpTaco

      It’s the same old Henderson story over and over and over again. This is why Henderson will never have any credit as a writer for ON or any other media outlet. Evolve.

    • Rebuild3.0

      ya it would be way better if henderson sat by and happily sucked farts straight from the organizations cheeks. why matt are you upset about probably loosing another trade? cant figure that one out. dumb comment

        • Bills Bills

          Seriously it is not about writing positive. It is about looking at the other side of the story. Everyone has an opinion. If that is all you are going to write, then you are doing a disservice to the readers and your opinion that is ALWAYS saying the same thing, will tire people quickly.

          • The OTHER side to the idea of trading a quality player on a great contract having a down year due to an injury he is playing through and weak goaltending behind him at the hands of a GM who loses a lot more trades than he wins and has a history of selling low is WHAT exactly?

          • Bills Bills

            Well he hasn’t actually done that yet. You are speculating based on what someone else thinks. Also the loses more trades than he wins is your opinion. I am not a fan of the return for Hall or Eberle but they both addressed needs and both players have played as they are billed. The Reinhardt trade was bad but something tells me MacT and Klowe were pulling the strings on that one as they loved him as an Oilking. The Maroon and Talbot trades were steals.

            Now the other side of that conversation is that Klefbom can’t seem to stay healthy and we have depth on left side. I hope he can stay healthy and an Oiler but there is another side Matt. Trade him for an equal the dman about the same age
            and address another need. So stop letting your bias dictate your opinion. It is weak.

        • Anthony Harmon

          Not happy all the time, not just balanced. Nothing’s good all the time nor bad all the time. You can put out a lot of good stuff, you just need to quit degrading yourself with the constant, never ending, the world is over negativity.

        • Anthony Harmon

          He doesn’t. There are sometimes reasons guys get traded that are different from the fact that they are the problem. He’s a good player and if we need a good player in a different position, you have to give to get.

        • Anthony Harmon

          Since you asked the question why in your last message without opening it for replies, I will reply here. The reason it should be considered, at least, is because he is such a good player and the Oilers have strength in left d. To get a power play right shot guy or possibly and offensive top-six Winger, you have to give something up from your area of strength, which is left d. Sekara’s not going anywhere because of his contract, I don’t think anyone wants to trade nurse, and there are some left shot prospects. You seem to always forget that another reason to trade someone is because they are a strong trade chip, not just because they are playing poorly. You consistently say this management group has shown they can’t make a good trade. Are you suggesting we should just stand pat and not change anything? Another in the endless string of GM and Coach changes is not what we need. We finally have some depth coming in the system with the Juniors we have, coincidentally drafted by Chiarelli.

        • oilerjed

          Maybe its time to recognize that you aren’t any smarter then the rest of us and have no greater insight then most. There is a difference between writing “happy articles” and being balanced. Lets be honest, Chia’s record doesn’t support your assertion that he has lost all of his trades, not that winning a trade should be the point. Making your team better is the only concern I would want a GM to have. Let bloggers like you keep score. No one in the hockey world is that is for sure.

        • Svart kaffe

          You don’t have to write happy articles. You just don’t have to be redundant and several months/years late all the time. I can complain about my teams perfectly fine by myself, but I log on to hockey sites to educate myself and get perspectives. You’re not giving anything. Regular Joe at the bus stop provides exactly the same level of insight. This site has a couple of good writers providing worthwhile material but you’re not one of them. Sorry.

  • OilersBro

    Klefbom when healthy is a top pairing defenseman and making 4.1MM a year until he’s 30. He doesn’t take penalties and hasn’t hit his prime yet. If Chiarelli thinks Klefbom is the reason this team is preforming so poorly, he’s delusional

    • Anthony Harmon

      He doesn’t. There are sometimes reasons guys get traded that are different from the fact that they are the problem. He’s a good player and if we need a good player in a different position, you have to give to get.

      • OilersBro

        I agree but I think Chia has only gave and never got. I don’t even count the Talbot trade as a win since Sather even admitted to giving us a gift there. We need wing depth? There are options. Let Strome or JJ play 3C and let Nuge or Drai play wing. Let’s also not forget that Yamo could be a 1RW by next year and Benson could be 2LW. There are options out there before trading an affordable top 4 dman

        • crabman

          Let’s not start pencilling in Junior players into our top 6 just yet. Could it happen sure but we can’t go into next season with that in mind. I am a fan of Yamamoto but think he could use more time if we want to get the best player possible out of him, and there is nothing wrong with that.

  • QuitForRealThisTime

    Highly doubt they trade him, even having a tough year his dollar cost value is not that bad and will likely only get better. Well, if he is a part of a deal that sees the Oil get Ekman-Larrson in return then it would maybe be ok.

    • McDavid's Comet

      Problem with that kind of trade is: it is addition by subtraction and doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t it be better to have both on the blue line? PP 1 has OEL and PP 2 has Klef would be better. Plus with Klef’s dreamy contract allows more cap maneuverability for next 5 yrs. If PC trades Klef he just continues to add to his “death by 1000 cuts”. Only the Oilers brain trust would believe this to be a good idea. ?‍♂️

      • Wolverine_Oiler

        Problem is Arizona won’t trade OEL unless they get Klefbom plus ? I would never do a RNH + OK for OEL, but as stupid as PC is, he might try something like that. I don’t think Arizona would take any of our other starters back except maybe Nurse, but then it would be have to be a RNH + Nurse situation. And I don’t like that either.

      • NoBuBlackOPS

        @Mcdavid’s comet only problem is if we bring in OEL we need to trade a LD the other way. Seeing as we would have 5 nhl caliber LD on the team OEL klefbom sekara Russell and nurse all LD. I can’t see Arizona taking back sekara or Russell as part of a trade for OEL that leaves nurse or klefbom.

        • McDavid's Comet

          I see your point, back to the leftorium, so does acquiring OEL even solve the problem other than a player whom can quarterback the PP? Does that make the need for a righty moot or does it have to be a righty because of how the PP is conducted?

          • NoBuBlackOPS

            @McDavid’s Comet I think OEL is a great player my concerns are the remaining term he has left on his current contract the amount of his new contract and we would still have a hole in the top 4 of the RD. We don’t have enough team friendly contracts like klefboms not sure we can trade that away with some of the new contracts kicking in and needing to be signedin the near future. Not to mention some of the contracts we are over paying on. If PC makes any moves it should be at the draft after we have a idea how things are going to shake out. Depending on how the lottery balls fall we could adress a couple of are needs with smart drafting. If we stumble are way to the first pick how ever unlikely draft Dahlin than trade klefbom to fill the hole on RD or get a top 6 winger. If we don’t get the first pick which is most likely. There are a few RD listed to go in the top 10 or draft one of the impact wingers in the top 10.

    • Ever see OEL’s stats? a career -83 or something like that? Top pairing defenseman on a perennial bottom feeder? I think people just like his name, to be honest? I’m sure if he’s a good a player as they say, his team would be drastically better.

        • Yeah, but I thought part of the problem when those guys played for Edmonton was a lack of a true top pairing D-man. OEL is a true top pairing Dman, he’s played in front of a legitimate NHL calibre goaltender in his career, and he’s had other good players around him. I don’t know how well Jeff Petry is doing in Montreal, but the team isn’t doing too well.

  • Hemmercules

    This reeks of the Eberle situation as was mentioned in the article. I hope they haven’t given up on him but this is likely just speculation on the medias part, when teams are doing bad the media picks them apart. Unless the trade is bringing back another equal or better defensemen it would be a horrible move. With the defence on this team as slim as it is they cant afford to ditch one of their better dmen for a winger. This summer is really worrisome for me. Will Chia mostly stand pat and make a couple additions in free agency or will he do a gut job and send away Nuge and Klef in more terrible trades?

  • Jordan88

    I just want to point out the fallacy in the article that a dmen can’t affect SV%. I see it all the time in Edmonton. How many times has a 2 on 1 goal happened on us because of a mishandled puck at a blue line… then the play comes back and the defender makes the mistake of not covering the shooter who is open?

    The lack of good defensive reads will kill any goalie and Cam has been on the receiving end of those chances.

    However I want to point out… the defence seems erratic until after the first few saves as of late. Could be the mental game that “we don’t want to go down a goal early” playing into the mind of the team.

    • NoBuBlackOPS

      I’m not saying Dmen don’t effect the SV% they most definitely have an effect. That being said when Talbot let’s in the first shot of the game or looks shaky from puck drop does it really matter who his Dmen are? In regards to you last point about the defence playing erratic. I think it’s more the Dmen don’t have confidence in talbot to make a timely save or the first save. I also think talbot does not have much confidence in the D playing in front of him to make the proper reads. The result being a shaky D core and goalie that are both probably trying to do to much to make up for there lack of confidence in the other.

  • ed from edmonton

    I am always amazed when a trade rumor, or even a rumor of a “shopping” comes up. Some guys like Hendo have their favorites and they are not to be touched. Klef in no way untouchable and a trade for Klef can only be evaluated based on the return. Hendo’s record of potential trade evaluation is not so good. I recall how aghast he was that the Oil may have been discussing a RNH for Seth Jones Trade. Jones is trending to a 50 point season, and had that trade have been done the Hall/Larssen trade would have been unlikely. I’m not saying to trade Klef, but one area the Il have a lot of depth (quality may be another question) in LHD, so moving a LHD who has value is logical.

  • Where's the Lamb Sauce

    Get Sekera to waive his NMC
    Trade him + 2018 1st + 2019 1st for OEL.
    I don’t care about draft picks since the idiots in charge won’t use them correctly anyway.

    • McDavid's Comet

      Good point regarding management, but I think it will have to be someone other than Sekera due to the terrible injury he suffered last year, no one will trade for damaged goods and why would Sekera want to go to Arizona?

    • The Whispererer

      First, why would Sekera waive his NMC to go to a last place team ?
      Second, would you really trade Sekera plus what looks like a sure top 6 pick in 2018 plus a 1st in 2019 for what would likely be 1 year of OEL ? Surely you know he can’t sign a new contract until July 1st, so there is no way to guarantee he would re-sign then; there is only a slim chance that the Oilers could make Cap room for his next contract anyway since it will come in somewhere between Draisaitl and McDavid.
      Third, even if you could get past the first 2 hurdles you are left with a right-side defense consisting of Larsson, Benning, Russell. Good luck with that.

    • crabman

      Why is OEL worth potentially 2 lottery picks and a top4 defenceman? And for only I year of him as he will be a FA the year after. This plus the fact he is another LHD. If you are trying to keep Nurse and Klefbom with this move we still have a logjam at LHD and huge hole on the right side.
      This would also cripple our prospect pool even worse than it is today. Giving up 2 1st round potentially lottery picks in an era where we will need cheap elc to help this team win is crazy. I would argue that drafting has been a strong suit for Chiarelli in his time here. He just hasn’t had or kept enough picks to take full advantage. Puljujarvi looks to be a player who will be useful in com I g years. He didn’t break into the league like Tkachuk, who was probably their 2nd choice, but he is still only 19, growing into his frame, only his 2nd year playing NA hockey and still learning the language. I think we need to be patient. And I believe the Yamamoto pick at 22 has the potential to be an absolute homerun. Everybody around here, me included, is pissed that Chiarelli traded the pick that turned into Barzal. Barzal fell because of his injury. He was a top ten talent and the year before his draft he has in conversation as a top 5. Yamamoto fell because of his size. With the way the league is moving towards speed and skill size doesn’t matter as much. Barzal’s pts/game are; draft -1 .91pts/g. draft year 1.29pts/g. And draft +1 1.52pts/g.
      Yamamoto draft-1 1.24pts/g. draft year 1.52pts/g. And draft +1 1.65pts/g. He has consistently scored better than Barzal in the same league. Yamamoto was drafted for skill something the Oilers will need in the top 6 in the coming years and something Chiarelli has done a good job addressing in the 1st round of the past 3 drafts and would be even better if he didn’t trade away the picks he did for Rienhart. Good teams build through the draft and only start trading away their 1st round picks when they are good enough to be later 1st round picks and for players that take them.from good to great teams. The Oilers are not there and need their lottery picks.

  • Everyone is available for trade if the return is acceptable. That being said, can anyone in the analytics community tell us the percentage of trade rumours that end up becoming reality? the corsi on rumours? vollmann sledgehammer on rumours? or whatever other numerical models that you use to explain your understanding of hockey? Can you apply your statistical analysis to quantify the likelihood of this trade?

  • TKB2677

    There is a BIG difference between being hurt and being injured. Hurt means you are not 100%. You have something bugging you, maybe you can’t play to your full abilities but you can play. All that needs done is get it worked on and it needs time to heal. Players do this ALL THE TIME and you don’t shut a player down for it. If you are injured, it means you need a major procedure. I don’t for a second think the team would stop a player from getting major surgery, even if it is the Oilers. Plus Klefbom’s issue have nothing to do with him being banged up a little. If you have a sore shoulder maybe you can’t shoot the puck as hard or maybe your aim is a little off but it shouldn’t cause you to make stupid reads, stupid pinches, not picking up wide open guys in front of the net or not being in proper defensive position. The majority of Klefbom’s struggles this year are all DEFENSIVE. That’s all mental.

    I don’t want them to trade him. The only way I would remotely think trading him is OK is if they were doing it to bring back a right handed, top 4 guy that can be on your PP. Something they don’t have.

    • BringitbacklikeSlats

      This is exactly right…seems that most people don’t understand the position and what is expected. He’s a decent offensive threat, though no way in hell he’s a top pairing guy. As you say, his problems are mostly just between his ears and I don’t know how much that ever changes. And for all the statisticians, I tend to think there’s a lot to the Math of his major mistakes on scoring chances against. He’s near 300 for this season and last. People that say he was so good last year are in fact ignoring the math. He had a good back half and playoff, but was horrible in the first half and that play has been present all year save for the odd good game of late.
      If they can get a better player back then of course you do it. But this argument that it shouldn’t be discussed because of fear of losing a trade…well that was Tambellini. Admittedly PC’s record is bad, and he needs to be better. But I’m far more comfortable dealing Oscar than RNH

  • Bills Bills

    Bla bla bla Chía suck. Bla bla bla, worst GM in history. Bla bla bla PC Is stupid. Bla bla bla he can’t win a trade. Bla bla bla….. Did I just sum up this blog? Thanks for another masterpiece MH.

  • Oilman

    We’ve already established that the return for a cost controlled, young, right shot top 4 D-man is an MVP caliber left winger entering his prime years. So it only makes sense that the return for Kelfbom (cost controlled, young, left shot top 4 D-man) is an MVP caliber RW. So Kucherov or Laine? It’s obviously one of those right? Right???

  • teammate michael

    If I am Katz I fire Chia at seasons end in bring a draft and develop GM like David Poile. Chias inability to evaluate and plan for the long term is going to kill us. He plans like a gambler in Vegas. Not very well. We need a steadier hand at the helm. One that understands that trading away assets for magic beans is not in our best interests. To me. Me. I would rather see a Sean Burke at the helm.

    • Derian Hatcher

      Unless Matt is a teacher, which I don’t think he is (correct me if I’m wrong Matt), I don’t understand why he would take a shot at a profession as a whole, to sarcastically try to support his point. Making sweeping generalizations, with the predictable “smartest guy in the room” tone is the basis for most of what Matt writes. This is unfortunate, as if he took some of the anger out his blogs and lost the sarcasm, there are some valid points. Unfortunately, it appears to be same old, without signs of growth to his writings. A regular hammer will suffice to pound a nail. No sledgehammers required.

  • escacor

    I really hope we don’t trade Klefbom. If we can find that top pairing RHD that we all have been begging for without giving up Klefbom, our top 4D looks pretty solid for next year in my opinion

    Nurse – #1 RHD
    Klefbon – Larsson

    • crabman

      That would leave Sekera and Russell as the bottom pair because they both have a NMC. That’s a pretty great bottom pair until you look at the fact they make a combined $9.5M. I don’t see how we can add the cap hit of a 1st pair RHD and make any improvements on forward. Let alone the assets it would take to get that player without giving up Nurse or Klefbom in the package.

  • 2centz

    I think you should join Mac.T,Howson and the other idiots on their way out. Everybody is sick of you Matt. Go away,maybe write for the Flames…? I could see your attitude fitting well at Flamers Nation.

  • Oiler Al

    What is the point of having a d-man like OEL, when McLellan wont allow the defense to join the rush!
    His idea of a defense man is a guy who blocks more shots than the goalie.Now you know why Russell is signed for 4 yrs. and Hall is traded for a stay at home D-man. These are all crys fron an insecure coach, lost at sea.

  • TKB2677

    The one thing I get tired of is seeing people whine about Eberle. When talking about Eberle, I think people need to put aside the Oilers management hate (past or present) for a min, actually be an educated hockey fan like others say people in Edmonton are and look at what Eberle is.

    Eberle is a decent offensively, top 6, one dimensional, streaky right winger who will ALWAYS be a liability defensively. Last year he had 20 goals, 51 pts. A “down year”. This year in 66 games, he has 23 goals, 47 pts. So pro rate that out, it’s 28 goals, 58 pts. Pretty good numbers. He makes 6 mill. I am sorry but at 6 mill, given the holes in his game, he is overpaid by a mill.
    He was brought in to play with Tavares, their best player. Just like he couldn’t do with McDavid, it didn’t work. Now they lucked out and have Barzal who is having an insane year and they seem to work OK together.

    Let’s go to the Oilers. IF he was here. He wouldn’t play with McDavid. Given McLellan doesn’t seem to want to play Leon at center full time, he probably wouldn’t play him with Leon and I am not convinced he would mesh with Leon either. So that means he’s with Nuge. What makes people think Eberle would have a bounce back year with the Oilers playing with the same guy? I don’t believe he would have been much better if at all. He complained about how the media was mean to him and it affected his play. So if he is here, that isn’t going to change. So I see him putting up similar numbers this season as last if he is an Oiler. If that happened, all of a sudden it goes from maybe being a “one off season” to a downward trend of a player. So that would further drive his value down.

    With Leon’s contract and McDavid’s contract coming on the books next year. Eberle was going to have to be traded at some time. Now the argument can be made, they could have waited. TRUE. But players have VALUE when they have term on their contract. If you wait until this offseason, Eberle is an upcoming UFA. The Oilers did not have to trade Eberle this season cap wise. They had the space to keep him for 1 more year. So that is LEVERAGE. If you aren’t forced to make a trade, you get better offers. By waiting until next year, you HAVE to trade Eberle and you have to take nothing back other than picks and prospects. SO they would have gotten LESS for Eberle than they got.

    Here is a news flash for people. Eberle is not defensive nor does he play on the PK, nor does he play goal. The Oilers are not in the playoffs BECAUSE their are dead last in goaltending. The Islanders with Barzal lighting it up and Eberle having a usual season, and Tavares being decent and Bailly having a career year are 6 pts out of the playoffs and realistically probably won’t make it. WHY? Because their goaltending SUCKS. If Talbot is even middle of the pack for NHL starters, the Oilers are right there in the playoff hunt and NO ONE would care about Eberle.

    When you look at Strome. It took him a while but he has seemingly found a role as a 3rd line center, who can play both teams. He’s on pace to score close to 15 goals and 40 pts. All while making under 3 mill. That’s pretty freaking good. The Oilers will probably sign him for under 3 mill to be their 3rd line center and if you are getting 40 pts from your 3rd line center while being a PP and PK guy and being right handed. That is pretty damn good value and quite frankly, better value than Eberle.

    What Chia screwed up on is not using the cap space they created with dumping Eberle and which was one of the reasons they listed for the trade. If the Oilers got Strome and his 40 pts, playing both special teams at 2.5 mill AND used some of their cap space to shore up another area, then no one would complain one bit.

  • crabman

    Is there any actual proof Klefbom has an injury worth shutting him down if any at all? The comment about avoiding physical play as evidence of his injury doesn’t hold water with me. Klefbom has 48 hits in 62 games this year after only having 43 hits in 82 games in his healthiest season. Klefbom isn’t a physical player. I think having such a drop off in his play and ability to hit the net this year does make it look like there is something wrong but players don’t always develop in a straight line. Klefbom had a breakout season last year and we all hope that is the player we will have for the next 6 years but there are no guarantees. As far as bringing him along slowly, his last year in Sweeden was ended early with that shoulder injury effectively losing a year of development. He didn’t even play a full season in the AHL before finishing the year in the Oilers lineup. The next year just 9 games in the AHL before spending the rest of the year on the Oilers as the 2nd most used defensman with 22min/game only behind Shultz at 22:37. Both players were rushed and played above their heads. They were the best options the Oilers had because of such a poor job done by the management building a defence but rushed none the less.

    If he is injured and they are playing him to showcase, that is insanity. If he is just hurt, a little nagging injury that every player would play through I have no issue with keeping him in the lineup. If whatever is wrong isn’t going to get worse by playing and isn’t going to interfere with off season training he should stay I the lineup.

    I am a Klefbom fan and think he will have a bounce back season. But Chiarelli has put himself into a hard position. With Sekera and Russell having NMC It’s either another year of Russell playing the right side or Nurse or Klefbom being moved. As much as losing one of the 2 younger LHD would suck Chiarelli put us in this position. An argument can be made for patiently waiting one more year with this D and after next year Sekera and Russell are down to just MNTC so a move could be made. But if you want to upgrade the right side next year one needs to be moved for help on that side.

    I don’t trust Chiarelli to make the right move but I do understand considering moving Klefbom for a simular RHD to balance the defence if that trade is available.