Stealth

This is Bryan Lerg. Plenty of his arrows are pointed in the right direction this fall. Although the Oilers have all kinds of candidates for the forward positions 11-14, Lerg is in a strong position for many reasons.

  1. He’s a shooter (somewhat unique at the back end of the roster)
  2. He’s older than many of the prospects (22)
  3. He can score goals (43 goals in his final 83 NCAA games)
  4. Left Wing is a fluid position (injury concerns, Glencross leaving)
  5. Salary is $568,500 (fills the Brad Winchester salary slot)

Size (5-10, 175) is a concern but this is a player who could make the roster for all kinds of reasons. The salary item could be a big deal, as Lerg is value priced considering the other players trying to win roster spots after the top 10 (Horcoff line, kid line, Brodziak-Cole-Pisani plus Moreau makes 10 locks for the roster).

  • Ryan O’Marra ($1.267M)
  • Gilbert Brule ($1.247M)
  • Marc Pouliot (about $1M unless he signs for less than qualified #)
  • Rob Schremp ($775,000)
  • Ryan Potulny ($707,000-that’s a guess)
  • JF Jacques ($701,000 or thereabouts)
  • Slava Trukhno ($683,300)
  • Zack Stortini (about $587,000)
  • Bryan Lerg ($568,500)
  • Liam Reddox ($508,000)
  • Tim Sestito ($487,000-I think)

Lerg is at the tail end of the group and fits the “skill group” that would include Schremp, Potulny, Trukhno and Reddox. At a guess, I’d say the favorites for 11-14F going into camp will be a signed Marty Reasoner and Stortini, Pouliot and Schremp. The Oilers have also talked at length about adding toughness, so a UFA signing or trade for a tough guy will further tighten the roster. If Bryan Lerg comes to camp and pops a few goals, he could make the this roster and send someone like Potulny or Pouliot to another team or Rob Schremp back to the Black Hole of Calcutta.

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20 Responses to "Stealth"

  1. Coach pb9617 says:

    Rob Schremp back to the Black Hole of Calcutta.

    Stop it – you’re turning me on.

  2. Black Dog says:

    There’s a team in Calcutta now?

    Fucking Bettman.

    Great name though.

  3. HBomb says:

    Just say no to Marty Reasoner.

    That is all.

  4. toqueboy says:

    let’s pretend we say no to marty sakic…who takes our draws? we’ve been pretty lucky the last few years, parading out stoll, horc and sakic-lite to command the dot…

    this is one of my biggest concerns this year. there’s nothing worse than watching really talented kids get locked in their own end because they can’t win a draw.

    so who is out there other than reasoner that fills this hole? LT talks about top six forward and a top 4 d man…but i think this whole faceoff quandry is equally as large an issue.

    we’re going to depend on horc, penner and brodziak? ugh…horc’s gonna end up playing 40 minutes a night and re-upping for like 80 million a year.

    jason williams has been mentioned…reasoner…perreault?

    lerg has me excited, but a large sized human prospect would really turn me on too.

  5. David says:

    We could always have Penner take the draws on a modified version of the kid line, with Nilsson and Gagner on his wings. That would give them two lines with guys who can take draws, and the top two lines at that, and we can hope that both Brodziak and Cogliano continue to develop their ability to take draws.

    I don’t really like the idea of bringing back Reasoner, given the number of forwards we have, and the kids that deserve a legitimate shot (Pouliot, Schremp) at making the opening night roster.

  6. Devin says:

    Brodziak had good numbers on the dot, and so did Penner. No reason to think Brodz won’t continue to be effective in the dot, and if Penner has to take draws in place of Cogs or Gagner on that line and then slide to the wing it’s not a huge deal.

  7. Devin says:

    Oh, and this may be OT, but if we’re worried about 3C, there is one guy and one guy only we should focus on: Sergei Federov. Won’t break the bank and you can get him short term, he still skates like the wind, will give you 40pts and you can feed him the absolutely brutal minutes. I think 2yrs/3.5M per would do it.

    Speaking of cap issues, I can’t help but think inflation alone (the slow and steady uptick in ticket prices, for eg) will lead to the cap trending upwards at least slightly each year. We talk as if we need space for next year based on this year’s number, but every long term analysis shows that teams should be spending fully to the cap each year. There’s no point in worrying about 3-5M in space for ’09 when the cap will likely rise by that amount anyway. If it doesn’t you’re no worse off than had you avoided making deals that can make your team better.

  8. dawgbone says:

    The problem Devin is that Brodziak only took 297 faceoffs. Penner only took 189. All the good faceoff guys study who they play against and what the other guy can do… the more faceoffs these guys take the greater the chance that they get figured out. Then agin, taking more draws may make them better.

    If we give up Reasoner, we lost 2 guys who combined to win 1155 faceoffs last year.

    Yes we get Horcoff back, but he’s only been barely above 50% the last 2 years (50.6%). As things stand, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble in terms of winning draws.

    Reasoner and Stoll have both had a faceoff % in the mid 50′s in recent years. The other good thing was that we multiple options in terms of getting defensive zone matchups. Jarret Stoll got the draws on the right hand side of the ice because he could draw the puck back with no issues.

    The Oilers really need another guy who can come in and take draws, either that or pray that Gags and Cogs have done nothing but work on faceoffs in the basement.

  9. PDO says:

    DB:

    There’s a lot of things that I think both of us want those two working on before draws. Given their excellent hand-eye cordination, my guess is that they’re not too far away from being able to legitimately hang around 50% anyway.

    So… there’s a guy out there who can play tough minutes. Is big. Is a center. Can PK. And he can win draws. He had had a major injury last year, but came back to play in the playoffs. He’d likely be relatively cheap.

    His name?

    Curtis Brown.

  10. Boondock says:

    Very O/T, but hilarious:

    I’m very sorry for the hockeybuzz link, but it is quite good.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=16043

    Hopefully someone can ask Wilson about this.

  11. Hemsky_83 says:

    I don’t think we’re going to have Lerg NHL-ready right away. He’ll have an impressive training camp, but I think Mac-T will be more keen on having him mold his raw skills to fit the professional game.

    I like the signing though. Targeting skilled players never does any harm, and is always worthy when it pans out.

  12. dwillms says:

    There’s still a few decent, cheap UFA options to fill that role:

    Jim Dowd
    Stephane Yelle
    Yanic Perreault
    Stu Barnes
    Josef Vasicek (signed in Russia?)
    Chris Gratton
    Mike Peca
    Bryan Smolinski

    Jason Williams is listed at C, yet he only took 15 faceoffs in 43 games last season.

    Fedorov is asking $4 mil per year, and I’m sure he’d get it if he want back to Russia

  13. doritogrande says:

    The captain of cheap shots just landed back in the Northwest Division.

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=242732&lid=headline&lpos=topStory_nhl

    Time to go out and get the biggest baddest enforcer we can find to protect the meal-tickets.

    Ugly, stupid and regehr all playing for Calgary? fuck.

  14. Knamely Lacked says:

    I wouldn’t mind Jim Dowd if for some reason Marty Reasoner didn’t come back.

    They’ve both been good face off guys in the past.

  15. dave says:

    Stephen Yelle, airtight shutdown line with Moreau and Pisani. Good d-zone face off support

  16. DeBakey says:

    Battle of Alberta/5-hole Fanatics
    have examined Yelle’s numbers and
    found them wanting.
    So, no.

    Why Dowd instead of Reasoner?
    No good reason.

    Curtis Brown – at least brings something different to the line-up.

  17. MetroGnome says:

    I’ll be fair to Yelle – he’s not totally useless (like, say, Wayne Primeau). He can’t anchor a checking line like he used to and his PKing is only average these days. At this point, Yelle’s the type of vet one could play with some kids in a 4th line roll to teach them some things and help keep their heads above water.

  18. Master Lok says:

    Any love for Brendan Morrison?

  19. pboy says:

    Not at 4+ million a year.

  20. Jonathan says:

    //Any love for Brendan Morrison?//

    Apparently only from ex-Canuck GMs.

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