SACRE BLEU

Peter Chiarelli added three defensemen into the Oilers mix during one week in June and sent away another. The top end received a badly needed (and quality) addition, while the depth pairing received a ruffian (Gryba) over a young coverage player with a massive wingspan (Marincin). Chiarelli also added Griffin Reinhart, who will look to become one of three (Nurse, Klefbom, Reinhart) cornerstone blue liners for the next decade.

SEKERA’S LA VOLLMAN

sekera vollman

  • Peter Chiarelli on Andrej Sekera: “He’s a real versatile D. Very strong. He could play in our top pair if need be. You’d like to spread it out so he could be a lynchpin in the second pair. Plays both sides. Played most of the year on the left but when he was traded he went to his right. Plays first or second powerplay, probably natural on the second pair. Lot of options with him. With him it’s about versatility, he’s very strong, he’s just a solid player who has good sense with the puck, he can play a lot of positions, he can defend and he can push the puck.”

Sekera is in a very good spot on the Vollman and his ability to play both sides and really anywhere in the top 4D is another interesting feature. I see him as a top pairing defender with the Oilers, and suspect his possible partners include Mark Fayne, Oscar Klefbom and Niki Nikitin.

KLEFBOM, SEKERA TOP PAIR?

Marc-Edouard Vlasic was playing in a super tough role before Todd McLellan arrived in San Jose. Vlasic was 20 when he entered the fire and performed well in the tough minutes job. He had about as much NHL experience as Oscar Klefbom does today. Now, you’re going to tell me that Klefbom isn’t Vlasic, but you’ll have to admit the young Swede has a dynamite skill set, is an intelligent player, and can win battles plus move the puck effectively. Among current Oilers blue, he’s the closest I can find to ‘bona fide top pairing option’ to put with Sekera.

VLASIC’S AGE 21 VOLLMAN

vlasic at 21

This is Vlasic at 21. What color will Klefbom’s Vollman be if he plays that role? He was handled far differently a year ago, suspect the ‘Schultz push’ belongs to another for 2015-16. The Oilers (I blame Dellow, who is coming up on a one year anniversary, I think hockey’s one year anniversary gift is rubber) figured out how to deploy Schultz last season (massive Ozone starts) and it paid dividends. In Justin Schultz’ three NHL seasons, his primary partner had a Corsi 5×5 For % of 45.4 (Nick Schultz, 12-13), 42.1 (Andrew Ference 13-14) and 51.4% (Oscar Klefbom, 14-15) when on the ice with him. Zone starts helped that pairing in a big way, Schultz likely gets them again but my opinion is that he’ll do it with another partner.

NIKITIN and SCHULTZ?

  • Peter Chiarelli on the defensive depth chart: “We were fortunate to get some things done at the draft which took some of the urgency away. Now we have nine D, I’d rather have nine than five. That creates competition.You can carry eight D. It depends on what happens in the next little while, and maybe it ends up in camp.”

vollman oilers blue 1415

Todd McLellan plays veterans on defense. This shouldn’t come as news, coaches have been doing it exactly forever. As a rookie coach, TMac ran the hell out of 38-year old Rob Blake and played Douglas Murray in 75 games, Brad Lukowich in 58. I suspect Niki Nikitin will get full blow when it comes to opportunities (the man is making $4.5M and they didn’t buy him out, this is no mystery) and if McLellan is going to give NN his best chance to succeed this is it. Ozone push, Justin Schultz his partner. I give it less than 40 games. Why? Injury, plus there are fast trains coming.

FERENCE/REINHART with FAYNE

  • Peter Chiarelli on Griffin Reinhart: “I expect him to be in the opening day roster. His size, his strength, his head, his sense, his skating—despite what people say—is what we want in a big anchor defenceman. This kid’s a player, so he’s going to find his way. When? Hopefully sooner than later.”

I think we should be fully prepared for the Oilers to carry eight defensemen to start the year, with Griffin Reinhart and Eric Gryba in the pressbox opening night. Ference is still here and he’s the captain, so unless there’s an injury he’s going to play. Fayne should play more this season, but I really like him as a third-pairing anchor and mentor to young Reinhart (and Nurse when he arrives). If he’s on the third pairing, it gives Edmonton two options nightly for tough zone starts.

NURSE!

In my RE numbers for Oilers defensemen (we won’t see the blue show up for another week or more, still some forwards to go) Darnell Nurse plays 50 games. I have Andrew Ference and Niki Nikitin moving out (either by trade or injury) and wouldn’t count out an Atlantic crossing mid-season for the Russian. Todd McLellan is going to see the mobility available to him in Nurse and begin agitating for his recall, possibly as early as opening night. McLellan likes his veterans but Ference’s skills have eroded badly (based on the two seasons we’ve seen him, that’s substantial evidence) and Nikitin’s back means tomorrow is a mystery. Youth shall be served. It’s my bet the transition begins before Christmas.

OPENING NIGHT PROJECTIONS

  • Klefbom—Sekera
  • Nikitin—Schultz
  • Ference—Fayne
  • (Reinhart and Gryba in the pressbox)

CLOSING NIGHT PROJECTIONS

  • Klefbom—Sekera
  • Nurse—Schultz
  • Reinhart—Fayne
  • (Gryba, Ference in the pressbox)

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

48 Responses to "SACRE BLEU"

  1. verdad2.0 says:

    This team goes nowhere until it has a genuine #1 defenceman.
    That is going take trading Hall to acquire.
    At some point, that hard reality comes more apparent.
    OEL is the holy grail of Oiler fortunes finally turning for the better.

  2. Really? says:

    Particularly like your closing night projections.

    It would appear that Verdad 2.0 has an incredible man crush on OEL. Is that normal?

  3. Lowetide says:

    OEL is a terrific target, I’ve just never understood the idea of trading Taylor Hall.

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    “Ference is still here and he’s the captain, so unless there’s an injury he’s going to play.”

    This is crazy. Un-captain him. Problem solved.
    This whole Captain thing is insane.

    * * *

    Glendale ain’t trading OEL

  5. sliderule says:

    I think you have to pencil in Gryba and Reinhart for Ference and Nikitin for opening lineup .

    Chia traded for both those guys and they are not going to sit in press box much if at all.

  6. John Chambers says:

    Thing about Sekara, Klefbom, Reinhart, and Nurse is that starting in January you can write their names in pen into the lineup card until 2020.

    The blueliner with the most uncertainty surrounding him is Justin Schultz. If MacLellan can forge him into a responsible defender we may not have to make any more moves than the personnel already under contract.

    My dream scenario is Schultz developing some defensive teeth, and then seeing Chiarelli upgrade him along with draft picks for a real shut-down RHD, allowing Nurse and Reinhart to break into the league without having to take on all the industrial lifting.

  7. Ryan says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    “Ference is still here and he’s the captain, so unless there’s an injury he’s going to play.”

    This is crazy. Un-captain him. Problem solved.
    This whole Captain thing is insane.

    * * *

    Glendale ain’t trading OEL

    True.

    Imagine how fun the Oilers would be to watch if the had a dman who could expedite the puck up the ice with an elite first pass like an OEL, Doughty, Weber, Giordano, Karlsson, or Hedman…

  8. rickithebear says:

    OEL age (22-23)
    22 EVp/season
    51.98 CA/60

    Klefbom age (21)
    2nd comp
    60 gm 18 EVP
    24 EVP season
    54.50 CA/60 w/ Schultz
    43.04 w/ Petry
    Sekera a massive upgrade over Petry and Schultz.

  9. rickithebear says:

    Ryan: True.

    Imagine how fun the Oilers would be to watch if the had a dman who could expedite the puck up the ice with an elite first pass like an OEL, Doughty, Weber, Giordano, Karlsson, or Hedman…

    Were you watching Klef in an offensive role.
    he was top 5 EVP pace.
    Je……… some people dwell on the MSM think!

  10. frjohnk says:

    rickithebear: Were you watching Klef in an offensive role.
    he was top 5 EVP pace.
    Je……… some people dwell on the MSM think!
    Fu……………………………………………!

    Get this man a snickers!

  11. rickithebear says:

    frjohnk: Get this man a snickers!

    1. Lost my expensive wedding ring on Holidays
    at work 3 days then
    2. in hospital with Pneumonia; blood poisoning; Enigmia.
    released for last 2 days
    3. Wife pasted a deer on Highway and totalled our Sienna yesterday!

    If the hood of the Van had not acted like an accordian, I am probably a widow!

    Yeah, I need a snickers.

    Probably would f……… up the antibiotics!

  12. Remote says:

    Experience, character, community service etc don’t make up for inability to execute on the ice.

    And blaming youth for inadequacies in their play undermines team morale.

    Ference should step down as captain–he has no credibility with the young core (and many fans) and will not be part of the future.

    The euphoria re. changes to the organization has caused the “murmurs in the dressing room” narrative to fade out, but if the new coach wants to forge a new team identity, having Ference as the designated mouthpiece would be a huge mistake. Changing organizational culture isn’t easy, and Ference has strong ties to the Eakins messages and era.

    A related point re. goodwill and morale is the idea that the team should deliberately submarine Nurse’s and Drasaitl’s bonuses by assigning them to the AHL for a period of time. Their play alone should dictate where they are assigned. Are the other young players not going to notice a less-capable veteran taking the spot of a more talented player who is part of the future? What message does that send?

  13. Lowetide says:

    rickithebear: 1. Lost my expensive wedding ring on Holidays
    2. in hospital with Pneumonia; blood poisoning; Enigmia.
    3. Wife pasted a deer on Highway and totalled our Sienna yesterday!

    if the hood of the Van had not acted like an accordian, I am probably a widow!

    Yeah, I need a snickers.

    probably would f……… up the antibiotics!

    good lord! Thoughts with you!

  14. rickithebear says:

    Lowetide: good lord! Thoughts with you!

    Sorry guys just a little edgy!

  15. RexLibris says:

    Bernier and Leafs settle, 2 years $8.3 million.

    Big price tag for a young goaltender. I wonder to what extent this will influence any possible Talbot extension?

    Also, rumours Chamblin will be out in Saskatchewan? Seems like the first step in a larger meltdown. I hope he isn’t out of work long (I’d hire him to replace Higgins in Montreal if I were Popp) but don’t understand what Taman hopes to accomplish by doing this other than kicking the can further down the road for the season.

    Maybe they win the next game, maybe they lose the next four. Either way, I think Taman could end up getting called to the carpet this off-season.

  16. RexLibris says:

    rickithebear: Sorry guys just a little edgy!

    No kidding. I think most of us would be a touch past “edgy” by now.

    Best wishes, and barbeque the deer.

  17. Hammers says:

    Would sooner see Reinhart with Schultz and Gryba with Fayne . Start the season on a positive and hope Nikitin and or Ference catch the injury bug , but not really hurt .

  18. Hammers says:

    For Nurse to play early Nikitin must be on ir or gone .maybe by Christmas but while both Ference and Nikitin are there the D will have many looks

  19. frjohnk says:

    rickithebear: Sorry guys just a little edgy!

    Sorry to hear about your week. That sucks.

  20. rickithebear says:

    Tambellini: 5yr
    Eberle; Lander; Hall; RNH; KLefbom; Yakupov; Pitlick

    MacT: 2yr
    Mcdcvid; Nurse; Draisatl; Schultz; Pouliot; Fayne; Hendricks; Nikitin; Purcell; Klink; Ference; Scrivens

    PC: 1yr
    Sekera; Reinhardt; Letestu; Talbot; Korpokoski; Gryba; Nilsson

  21. marty62 says:

    verdad2.0,

    I really wish people would stop beating this dead horse. Good teams dont trade franchise defensemen. Full stop. So lets stop trading our top young players for guys that will only ever be available if their team lets them get to UFA. This would include OEL, Seth Jones and pretty much every other dman that people want to trade Hall for.

    Also, good teams dont trade away one valuable piece to acquire another when it leaves a giant hole in the team. Its thinking like this that has landed us in the damn desert since 1991 in the first place… If you want to see where our stud #1 dman is coming from read Rickithebears stuff above. We have a couple horses that will lead the charge already and they are getting close to taking on that role.

  22. Concur says:

    rickithebear:
    Tambellini: 5yr
    Eberle; Lander; Hall; RNH; KLefbom; Yakupov; Pitlick

    MacT: 2yr
    Mcdcvid; Nurse; Draisatl; Schultz; Pouliot; Fayne; Hendricks; Nikitin; Purcell; Klink; Ference; Scrivens

    PC: 1yr
    Sekera; Reinhardt; Letestu; Talbot; Korpokoski; Gryba; Nilsson

    Don’t forget gazdic for macT

    Get well soon

  23. rickithebear says:

    Hammers:
    Would sooner see Reinhart with Schultz and Gryba with Fayne . Start the season on a positive and hope Nikitin and or Ference catch the injury bug , but not really hurt .

    Nikitin facing 2nd comp is sub 52.00

    Heck of a lot better than every d from 07-08 to 13-14.

  24. rickithebear says:

    RexLibris: No kidding. I think most of us would be a touch past “edgy” by now.

    Best wishes, and barbeque the deer.

    She phoned the RCMP!
    Clerc first question.
    Did you drag the deer off the road?

  25. rickithebear says:

    The league scoring has definitely changed.
    Malkin in 07-08 & 08-09 was an elite scorer.
    the top 5 averaged 106 pt

    this year the top 5 Averaged 84pt.

    Malkin averaged 71p last 2 seasons.

    There were 15 30G scorers.

    Post allstar RNH was
    25gm 12G 13A 25Pt.
    marked change from set-up Center to elite eVG scoring center.
    #1 PvP 22 EVG

    Eberle under Nelson
    43gm 18g 25A 43P -2

    Pouliot under nelson
    38gm 16G 10A 26P +2

    Hall showed his Elite return @WC

    Mcdavid with hall?

    Do we have 5 potential 30G scorers.

    Landers 27 reg gm 6G 13A 19P
    suggests 18G 56P

    Yakupov ost allstar
    28gm 9G 11A 20p -9
    suggests 26G 56P

    Hall-Mcdavid-Purcell
    Pullout-RNH-Eberle
    Korpikoski-Lander-Yakupov
    Hendricks-Letestu-Klink/Pitlick

    XXX-Fayne
    Klefbom-Sekera
    Nikitin-Schultz
    Reinhardt-Nurse
    Ference

    Talbot
    Nilsson

  26. blainer says:

    rickithebear: 1. Lost my expensive wedding ring on Holidays
    at work 3 days then
    2. in hospital with Pneumonia; blood poisoning; Enigmia.
    released for last 2 days
    3. Wife pasted a deer on Highway and totalled our Sienna yesterday!

    If the hood of the Van had not acted like an accordian, I am probably a widow!

    Yeah, I need a snickers.

    Probably would f……… up the antibiotics!

    Glad to see your ok.. Hit a moose once and managed to survive .. very scary.. Man what a brutal holiday.. I have some bad ones myself but can’t top that..

  27. blainer says:

    Always happy to see Veradad pipe up in his bi monthly trade Hall for OEL post.. Too bad Maloney will never trade him and has said as much. Keep the faith though Veradad ya never know.. LT like the way you explained the opening D but if FSN are in the lineup on opening night my head is gonna explode. Did the new management and coach not review last years games. That would be a very reprehensible move on their behalf if they have not.

  28. marty62 says:

    blainer,

    I believe that Chia has created the competition at all positions for a reason. Everyone earns his spot. And to think edmonton will keep Ference playing just cause he is the Captain, well lots of teams have flushed their Captain before he was ready to give up on his career. Modano comes to mind and he was a Hall of Famer, unlike Ference.

  29. slopitch says:

    I think the oilers made the correct bet this summer. The options on D were ok and they targeted the best one available – Sekera. In regards to Nikitin and Ferance, they kept them around to save cap space in 2016-17. The real bet they are making is that 2 of Nurse/Reinhart/Klefbom can be capable top 4 by the end of the year. If that’s the case they are in a great spot to spend the Nikitin money on another top 4 hire or to lock in Talbot should he excel.

    I’m super excited for the season coming up although I think the first 40 “transition games” are gonna be frustrating as hell. Is it hockey time yet?

  30. nez29 says:

    slopitch,

    There is still a possibility that the Hawks will be in an untenable position in relation to the cap. Thus, Seabrook may be available. He has a NMC, but will come to Edmonton. This acquisition would be contingent on Seabrook agreeing to a long-term contact. and the Hawks taking a defenseman off the roster(Reinhart? Schultz plus?)
    To me, this is a way of getting a near-number one anchor relatively painlessly.
    Also, I wouldn’t trade Hall for OEL. Eberle, though…that’s another story.
    Final note: 0-6 looks great on the ‘Riders!

  31. blainer says:

    marty62:
    blainer,

    I believe that Chia has created the competition at all positions for a reason.Everyone earns his spot.And to think edmonton will keep Ference playing just cause he is the Captain, well lots of teams have flushed their Captain before he was ready to giveup on his career.Modano comes to mind and he was a Hall of Famer, unlike Ference.

    Agreed. I love it that he signed a third Goalie. Something MacT should have done last year. That is gonna be a very competitive position as well. I would assume TMc will be quick to sit one of FSN once he actually sees them play live.

  32. blainer says:

    slopitch:
    I think the oilers made the correct bet this summer. The options on D were ok and they targeted the best one available – Sekera. In regards to Nikitin and Ferance, they kept them around to save cap space in 2016-17. The real bet they are making is that 2 of Nurse/Reinhart/Klefbom can be capable top 4 by the end of the year. If that’s the case they are in a great spot to spend the Nikitin money on another top 4 hire or to lock in Talbot should he excel.

    I’m super excited for the season coming up although I think the first 40 “transition games” are gonna be frustrating as hell. Is it hockey time yet?

    I wonder if they really have their sights set on Burns with that Nikitin Purcell and then the Ference buy out money. Can see a trade with San Jose at the deadline this year if they are out and we are in a playoff race..

  33. Lowetide says:

    Eric Rodgers posted his TOI numbers

    http://www.tendthefarm.com/okc-barons-2014-15-estimated-time-on-ice/

    This is really good stuff.

  34. Woogie63 says:

    Opening Night/Closing Night, will see us add for quality for the first time in 9 years.

    Additions for Closing Night

    Nurse, Rienhart, Musil

    Pakarinen, Slepyshev, Yakimov, Draisaitl

    Brossoit

    Eight quality additions will jump start the PC era!

  35. blainer says:

    Lowetide:
    Eric Rodgers posted his TOI numbers

    http://www.tendthefarm.com/okc-barons-2014-15-estimated-time-on-ice/

    This is really good stuff.

    Very interesting stuff LT. Looks like they gave Joey Legs a lot of ice.. really happy to see that as I thought he looked great at prospect camp. Might just have a player there.

  36. slopitch says:

    Nez29/Blainer,

    Seabrook and Burns are both great candidates. I think Dustin Bufyglin would be as well. Hopefully they can get one without moving a core piece. I would have thought the timeline is 2 years although Chai seems to have a lot more urgency then the previous 2 GMs. The sooner the better.

  37. The Last Of Barrett Privateers says:

    rickithebear,

    Schultz was Tambellini

  38. RexLibris says:

    The Last Of Barrett Privateers:
    rickithebear,

    Schultz was Tambellini

    There were rumours at the time that MacTavish was point on the Schultz negotiations while Tambellini was left to tend the store.

    Under Tambellini’s tenure, but I’d chalk that up to MacTavish.

  39. Hammers says:

    rickithebear: Nikitin facing 2nd comp is sub 52.00

    Heck of a lot better than every d from 07-08 to 13-14.

    Trouble is that was then and since then Nikitins done nothing . Yea if he played like 4 years ago but he hasn’t . Must recognize the done date on players like Niki and Ference

  40. verdad2.0 says:

    marty62,

    As far as I remember this team only traded once for a real #1 defenceman , Pronger.
    Of course, we have him away for nothing.

    Since then the Oilers have never anything remotely serious about getting a real #1.
    We can see the results as to how stupid not getting that player has been.

    We have the assets to get one. Chiarelli should be relentless on the pursuit of OEL.
    Without him, very unlikey that any real improvement happens for this team.
    Especially if the next three years are devoted to training more rookie defencemen, at least three.

    Hall is expendable , especially to a franchise that is so devoid of any genuine offensive talent.

    Chiarelli has yet to do anything really “bold”.
    Ten years of desolation has to end. it can’t unless the Oilers can play defence. So act now.

  41. theres oil in virginia says:

    rickithebear: Enigmia

    Aaah! That explains a lot. 😉

  42. SwedishPoster says:

    verdad2.0,

    Hall won’t get you OEL. Arizona isn’t trading OEL but if they were I guess a starting point would be somewhere around Hall, RNH and our 2016 first. They have a young top 10 in the league #1D. Alongside a #1C it’s THE building block in building a contender and #1D seems to have better longevity, why would they trade that for a talented but somewhat injury prone winger? I love Hall and think he’s a massive piece for this team going forward but he won’t get you OEL, he just won’t.

  43. RexLibris says:

    verdad2.0: Of course, we have him away for nothing.

    I assuming you mean “gave”, in which case you are incorrect.

    They received two 1st round picks, a 2nd round pick, Joffrey Lupul and Ladislav Smid.

    Today’s remnant of that deal is Jordan Eberle, Eric Gryba (by way of Riley Nash -> Martin Marincin) and Laurent Brossoit.

    They have since tried to land top defensemen but by all accounts have failed.

    Trading Hall may get you a top-pairing defender, arguably it ought to get you a top-pairing defender, but there is no guarantee that that player would be Ekman-Larsson nor that the Oilers would be better served in the long run without Hall.

    I would argue that Chiarelli has made some bold moves, if that is the criteria you want to use to determine his performance to-date, in trading for Reinhart. He moved two assets whose value would have been at least two to four years before being realized for a needed asset that will impact the roster immediately.

    He likely landed one of the best free-agent defensemen this July as well to a contract that makes up in cap hit what it surrenders in term.

    That he hasn’t traded Taylor Hall doesn’t mean he hasn’t made bold moves, unless we are to redefine bold as willfully shooting oneself in the foot just because the bullet was in the chamber.

    I’m not against trading Hall on any ideological grounds. I just feel that any discussion about moving him needs to be very objective and grounded in reasonable analysis rather than emotional urgency.

  44. Revolved says:

    blainer: Very interesting stuff LT. Looks liketheygave Joey Legs a lot of ice.. really happy to see that as I thought he looked great at prospect camp. Might just have a player there.

    Looking at how they estimate TOI, I would take several of the D numbers with a grain of salt. High event players will always come out with high TOI totals with this method anda lot hangs on if they are called first second or third pairing.

    In about the same number of games, Brad Hunt was On for almost 30 more EV goals than Musil. Did he really play 10 minutes more per night, though? This is great and valuable work, and it’s the best we’ve got, but just check the assumptions.

  45. Bruce McCurdy says:

    SwedishPoster:
    verdad2.0,

    Hall won’t get you OEL. Arizona isn’t trading OEL but if they were I guess a starting point would be somewhere around Hall, RNH and our 2016 first. They have a young top 10 in the league #1D. Alongside a #1C it’s THE building block in building a contender and #1D seems to have better longevity, why would they trade that for a talented but somewhat injury prone winger? I love Hall and think he’s a massive piece for this team going forward but he won’t get you OEL, he just won’t.

    I agree with the first part, Arizona isn’t trading OEL. This idea that “the Coyotes are rebuilding, therefore they might trade OEL” is batshit. They moved all kinds of assets last year but he was the one they kept, clearly a building block.

    That said, they would have to be batshit NOT to trade him for that package of Hall, RNH + another first, which is a big overpay even for a player of Ekman-Larsson’s quality. This Oiler fan would be *very* unhappy with such a deal.

  46. slopitch says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Agreed. Hall, Nuge, 1st would be a major overpay.

  47. SwedishPoster says:

    slopitch:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Agreed. Hall, Nuge, 1st would be a major overpay.

    Yep. And that’s the whole point. If you’re gunning for that kind of player you will have to overpay big time. The dream about aquiring a bona fide and young #1D is exactly that. A dream.

    What you can do is trade for guys who might become #1s, who for some reason has struggled but just need to iron some things out or be put in a better situation or has a stupid GM. Or draft them. Or pay them big in free agency.

  48. verdad2.0 says:

    SwedishPoster,

    All of you remember Arizona has no offense, and little offensive potential, a knack for drafting and finding great third and fourth line players, see Vermette , Hanzal etc.

    Hall is what they need. At some point they need to be entertaining as a hockey team.

    The point is that Chiarelli must be relentless in pursuit of OEL.
    It is like fundamental for the OIlers if they are ever to get genuinely better, MacDavid notwithstanding.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!
© Copyright - Lowetide.ca