Peckham Sent to Springfield

After a 1 game audition in the show, Theo Peckham is back in the minor leagues. Coach MacT had some nice things to say about him and the general opinion seems to be the young man did well in his first NHL game. Peckham remains a solid pro prospect and one of a huge number of prospects in the system who might make it in the next few seasons. The biggest hurdle he’ll face is the sheer number of kids trying to make the show at the same time: it can’t be done.

Let’s run some numbers in order to make the point:

  1. Peckham is the 11th defender to play a game for the Oilers this season.
  2. Two long term D are over 30 (Souray, Staios).
  3. Of the 8 D on the Oilers “roster” currently, 6 were born in 1983 or later.
  4. Aside from Pitkanen, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Greene, Smid and Roy at the major league level, Peckham is in competition for major league at-bats with Bryan Young and Danny Syvret who still count as prospects among Oilers’ minor leaguers.
  5. Bubbling under are players like Taylor Chorney, Cody Wild, Jeff Petry, Sebastien Bisaillon (injured) and one or more of them will join the competition in the fall.

I wouldn’t bet against Peckham, though. He is younger than all but Petry and has already played a major league game.

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21 Responses to "Peckham Sent to Springfield"

  1. Dennis says:

    I’m not sure when this logjam’s gonna clear on the D and the Oilers have themselves in an awful state there because they don’t have enough vets. And they also don’t have enough guys close to making the jump to being trustworthy.

    In that regard you had a half season of Greene ignoring his birth certificate but that’s about all we can hang onto.

    Regarding Peckham, what I liked about him was he had the confidence to play his game at the big level. He stepped into Boll and later on he gave it to Zherdev in the crease and then lipped off to Chimera once he came over to chime in.

    I really thought that showed something.

  2. doritogrande says:

    What are you using to define a “Veteran”?

    Games played? Effectiveness? The ability to play tough minutes?

    Surely Pitkanen counts in the last two categories, probably Tom Gilbert also.

    Regarding Peckham, he brings the kind of skillset that nobody else has in our defensive prospect pool. I don’t think the four you mentioned that are bubbling under can play the body. He’d make an ideal third pairing candidate about 3 years down the road, protecting the likes of Pitkanen, Gilbert, Chorney and Petry. Smid can take care of himself.

  3. Bank Shot says:

    I guess the good thing is that the current Oilers defenders will all have 3-4+ seasons under their belts by the time the Oilers need to make decisions on any of the guys currently in the system.

    It would be nice to see any of these guys make it sooner by forcing their way onto the big team rather then have a spot reserved for one of them in training camp.

    Peckham will likely have another couple of chances next year to make a good impression as it will probably be only him and Chorney battling it out for call-ups.

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Bisaillon played in the NHL at about the exact same age as Peckham
    Syvret is in his last few months as an Oiler
    Young appears to be back on the beam as a depth prospect
    Chorney – leaving UND after this season. Please, please, no rookie 21-year-old Dman.
    Chorney, Peckham, Wild & Petry all born in 87, something has to give.

    In other words, who do we give Chorney to?

  5. Lowetide says:

    Pitkanen would certainly qualify as a young veteran. Gilbert doesn’t qualify for that term in any way, shape or form.

  6. Steve says:

    Is Syvret really still a prospect? I sort of thought that there was a consensus that he wasn’t going to go any further.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Steve: I would say he’s well into the second tier of D prospects in the organization but you never know.

  8. Dennis says:

    DG: Staios abd Souray are obviously vets, though I don’t believe in the EV abilities of the latter and he’s a flat-out hinderance at his current salary. And I’d throw in Pitkanen as a vet too.

    I meant to say that you had a half season of Gilbert playing over his birth certificate but once you get past that you’re just hoping that Smid, Grebs or Greene take the next step.

    If both Chorney and Wild come out next year, someone’s gonna get pushed out or have their time cut right off the bat. Oilers are probably willing to let Svyret and Young move on and I’d hope they’d find three vets to go along with Pecham, Wild and Chorney and give them one apiece.

    I think Berry’s playing again so he’d be a guy and I know that one of Reynolds or Kemp is having major concussion problems. Let’s say we can bring Berry back and then you’d want an Alain Nasredieene or two to flesh out the other two pairings.

    And that’s not even counting Bisaillion so perhaps the Oilers will call Pecham a vet and give him one of the kids and the other four slots are for Young-Chorney-Berry and another vet.

  9. doritogrande says:

    Dennis,

    That’s a lot of contracts to support a farm team. I’d say we need one “veteran” defense option in Springfield, be it Berry, Rourke or someone else. Young is going to be in his third year pro, making him a pretty veteran player anyhow. I’d be willing to count him in as a veteran on that roster. We could also hide Roy down there next year, 1-way contract and all.

    If you’re planning on having both Wild and Chorney come out this summer, then the defensive pool looks something like:

    Vet-Bisallion
    Young-Peckham
    Roy – Chorney
    Wild

    And that’s without Reynolds, Kemp or Syvret. Bisallion I’m fairly positive was breaking through before he got injured, so we’ll have to see how he recovers, but I think he’s got the stuff to dominate AHL opps. Develop Peckham as a defensive specialist for 3rd pairing NHL minutes, and cut one of Roy/Young when Petry is ready to come out.

  10. Traktor says:

    Mr DeBakey said: In other words, who do we give Chorney to?

    Philadelphia.

    Steve Downie would add balance to our young forward core.

    Toss in Pouliot, JFJ or Reddox if you have to.

  11. dstaples says:

    The big question for me is Pitkanen.

    If he is a Top Two defenceman? He hasn’t been this season, and he must is a big reasons for the Oilers weak defensive record.

    What does the team make of him and his erratic play?

    MacTavish clearly likes him well enough to play him at most key moments, including the last seconds of close games.

    Pitkanen skates incredibly and moves the puck well, but is pretty much a dud on the power play. Will this improve?

    I doubt it, but it’s possible.

    He is more likely than any other Oilers defence to make a blunder that directly contributes to a goal against at even strenth. Will this improve? I suspect it will, though I wonder if Tom Poti, for example, ever really improved in this regard.

    Does Pitkanen = Poti? That’s my concern, and I fear it more every time I see him play.

  12. doritogrande says:

    Staples,

    I think you’re way off on Pitkanen. He’s playing a ton of minutes most nights, and he’s playing injured. I don’t see him as a dud on the powerplay either. I see a premier puck-mover who’s got the vision of Ales Hemsky, and plays the position like a bigger Scott Neidermayer.

    If he’s healthy, he’s one of the 15-best defensemen in the NHL.

  13. Bruce says:

    I don’t see him as a dud on the powerplay either.

    Well, I don’t think Joni’s as bad a powerplayer as his record indicates. I sure hope not … according to Behind the Net:

    +4.59/-1.72 = +2.87 ON/60
    +6.64/-0.00 = +6.64 OFF/60
    0.29 PPG/60
    1.15 PPP/60

    Of 14 Oilers with 20+ GP and 1:00 PP TOI per game, Pitkanen ranks 12th in GF ON/60, GA ON/60, and +/- /60; 13th in rating; and 14th and last in PPG/60, PPP/60, raw SHGA, and in +/- OFF/60 (meaning the powerplay succeeds when he is off the ice). Oh yeah, and he ranks first on the club in PP TOI/60, at 4:18/GP.

    Not too pretty.

  14. DMFB says:

    If he’s healthy, he’s one of the 15-best defensemen in the NHL.

    Yeah, though that’s sort of the rub on him at this point. Still, there are few, if any, defenceman around who can duplicate his skill-set; to me, he’s the guy who you try to make your cornerstone, and build your defence around. A good two-way defenceman or two (Gilbert, maybe Chorney) two defensive types, preferably one of those physical (Smid, Greene/Peckham) and third pairing PP specialist (Souray, I guess, though I wouldn’t mind seeing him moved once his no-movement clause ends) seems like a pretty solid corps, in a few years time.

  15. dstaples says:

    If Pitkanen were a basketball player, they would say he’s a great fullcourt player, but weak in the half-court offence and defence.

    He looks great — and is great — moving the puck out of his own zone, both at even strength and on the powerplay, and this is nothing to scoff at.

    But in the offensive zone, he has no shot to speak of, and his passing doesn’t create goals, it doesn’t create threatening situations. Hence his lack of production, at this point.

    With all due respect, comparisons to Niedermayer at this point make as much sense at comparisons to Pat Price.

    Pitkanen looks like both at times, plays like both, and until he tips in one direction or the other, we won’t know what we have. This would make a short term contract the most sensible approach, save for the fact that he will soon to a UFA, and the team will get nothing if he leaves. With that in mind, a two or three year deal is likely the best option. By then, the Oil will know for sure what they have, and if he likes it here, may be willing to take a discount (heading into his second or third season) to stay, if the Oil offer long term security. Of course, no one knows his mindset in terms of money, and how ambitious he is to get the most money possible. We also don’t know what he thinks of Edmonton.

  16. Andrew says:

    Jeez we got a lot of defensemen.

  17. Dennis says:

    Staples: I saw a lot of Poti and Poti is no Pitkanen when it comes to putting up offensive numbers. Joni once had 43 points in 58 games; that’s nothing to trifle about it.

    Biggest problem with him is staying healthy. I think he’s been great this year when healthy but the problem is he hasn’t been healthy a lot.

    You’ve already tied up a tonne of money in Shoulder Souray to be in and out of the lineup so is that something you want to do with Pitkanen as well?

    I say yes if we can get him for 4/16 mill. I’d just cross my fingers that he’d stay healthy. Though I would be open to trade suggestions as well.

    DG: sounds like a better plan than mine:)

  18. Dennis says:

    In speaking of Pitkanen and how he doesn’t drive the bus on the PP and wondering aloud why the Oilers don’t give Gilbert more time there while also knowing that, even if inadvertently, it’s a smart move not to pump his counting stats with him coming up for a new contract, I came across this article:

    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/110474

    Prosportsdaily.com is a great one-stop shopping place for links for all the four major sports and I pop by there everyday to check up on my other favorite teams and just to check up in general.

    Anyway, my Titans desperately need a WR so I was reading some of their stuff and the name of Cards WR Larry Fitzgerald came into play because the Titans have a tonne of cap room and the Cards want Fitz to restructure his contract, ie he has a huge cap hit coming in the next two seasons.

    So, to bring it back to an Oilers angle and what PP time could do for your contract, here’s the stanzas that caught my eye:

    __You can second-guess the Cardinals for including escalator clauses in Fitzgerald’s deal rather than voidable years. But even if Arizona had done the latter it eventually would have had to re-work Fitzgerald’s contract or let him walk as a free agent.

    Should Arizona have had the foresight to renegotiate with Fitzgerald prior to the 2007 season, knowing the crippling affect he might have on the salary cap?

    Maybe.

    But consider this: The Cardinals thought they were going to a run-oriented offense that suited coach Ken Whisenhunt and protected second-year quarterback Matt Leinart. It seemed unlikely that Fitzgerald would make his second Pro Bowl — adding $5 million to his deal — while splitting touches with Anquan Boldin.

    But then Leinart fractured his collarbone, and the Cardinals started throwing the ball more with Kurt Warner. Plus, Boldin missed four games due to injuries, giving Fitzgerald the opportunity to put up monster numbers.

    It was the perfect storm of circumstances that led the Cardinals and Fitzgerald to this moment___

    That’s some interesting stuff from where I’m standing.

    Any thoughts?

  19. Guy Flaming says:

    I’ll be stunned beyon dbelief if Danny Syvret is resigned this summer.

  20. Bruce says:

    why the Oilers don’t give Gilbert more time there while also knowing that, even if inadvertently, it’s a smart move not to pump his counting stats with him coming up for a new contract,

    But so is Pitkanen coming up for a new contract, Dennis, and the same argument about pumping up counting stats holds. Except given Joni’s earthshattering 5 PPP over the course of the season, not pumping them up very goddam much. In fact the stats I posted above should seriously drive down Pitkanen’s value. (Too bad arbitration is out of the question, the team would have a pretty strong case.)

    Unfortunately the most pumped up thing of all may be Pitkanen’s sense of his own value. I never hear anything — anything at all — from the horse’s mouth, but the rumours are out there of the big contract he’s seeking. Indeed, one thing that kind of turns me off about this guy is that silence; he doesn’t really seem to be part of the team, I don’t get a sense of a real take-charge kind of personality that I would love to see from a guy of his talent. He’s no Phaneuf to say the least. That’s not all bad, and like I say Joni is so goddam quiet I may be misreading him badly, but part of what I’m reading is that he’s too goddam quiet. If you follow me, Dennis.

    As for Gilbert his PP production is much better at 2.98 PPP/60 in a shade over 2 minutes per game. So that’s still just a point every 10 games. Gilbert’s no flaming hell at +3.40/60; Stoll is much better at +5.85 and the best pointman of all in that category is Grebeshkov at +7.07. Grebs — who of course is also an RFA, just like the other two guys under discussion — doesn’t score much either (1.63 PPP/60) but the powerplay has been successful when he is out there. Vic will probably say it’s the clattering of dice and he may well be right. All of these guys have a small sample size, very small when it comes to actually scoring on the powerplay. All of our defencemen combined have just 21 PPP this season, surely one of the worst totals in the league. Let’s put it this way: I just looked it up and there’s 15 defencemen in the league who have 22 or more all by themselves. So for damn sure we need somebody to step it up.

  21. Bendelson says:

    There’s no doubt Pitkanen has all the talent to be top 15… yet, after how many years, and it remains unrealised?

    4yrs/16m? No way.
    Joni won’t get out of the sauna for that type of ‘offer’…

    I see a Pitkanen trade this summer as the best ‘big name’ option for KLowe… who else is going to get a high quality top 6 in return?

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