Much of Gilbert’s PP minutes (and the minutes devoted to Stoll, Pitkanen and others) will likely end up being given to Sheldon Souray and Lubimor Visnovsky.
Had Sheldon Souray played the entire schedule, he would have (based on the games he was healthy) been at or near 350 PP minutes. Visnovsky spent 376 minutes on the LA powerplay.
Adding up ALL of the Oilers’ D and Jarret Stoll’s numbers we get a total of 1,058 minutes. Obviously the two six-million dollar men on the D won’t get all of the minutes but it’s fairly certain a player like Gilbert won’t be adding a couple of hundred minutes to this PP total in 08-09.
So, I thought it might be a nice idea to list the Oilers’ D point production at both EVs and PP during the 07-08 season. Understand Visnovsky and Souray had off-seasons but it’s interesting all the same.
- Tom Gilbert 0.98
- Denis Grebeshkov 0.84
- Lubimor Visnovsky 0.80
- Sheldon Souray 0.76
- Steve Staios 0.65
- Ladislav Smid 0.25
To give you some perspective, Jordan Leopold (COL) led the division with 1.13, Dion Phaneuf(CGY) was 0.95/60 at 5×5 , Brent Burns(MIN) is 0.90, Matthias Ohlund(VCR) is at 0.83 (leading scorer, by team). I’m not saying Gilbert is better than Phaneuf, just suggesting that Gilbert had a real nice year in this narrow view.
5x4pts/60 (100+ minutes)
- Tom Gilbert 3.01
- Lubimor Visnovsky 2.77
- Joni Pitkanen 2.11
- Sheldon Souray 1.72
- Denis Grebeshkov 1.26
In the division, Phaneuf(CGY) was at 4.45, Brent Burns(MIN) 4.15, , Sami Salo(VCR) 3.71 and JM Liles(COL) 3.15. This makes it clear that the Oilers probably did need an upgrade (either a healthy Souray or a more complete PP performer like Visnovsky) for the special teams.
But you know what? Tom Gilbert’s a pretty nice hockey player.