Bryan Lerg is one of very few Springfield Falcons who have Oilers contracts for next season. By my count, Lerg will have 7 possible teammates (Jacques, Peckham, O’Marra, Paukovich, Sestito, Chorney, Wild) under contract although this information is not readily available (I’m using oilfans and nhl numbers for this post). Players like Josef Hrabal are something of a mystery because Europe is a possibility for 09-10 should he not make the club.
There are a bunch of kids who may not be worth another contract. Some may view this as damnation of the scouting staff but when you consider the quality and depth of talent on the big club that arrived courtesy the procurement department it would seem the Oilers are well served by the current group.
Let’s look at these RFA’s:
- Ryan Potulny: Springfield’s leading scorer (38gp, 19-14-33 -4) and he’s looked good in some NHL games (5gp, 0-3-3). An obvious signing for the farm club, he may also get consideration for a “one-way” deal with the big club. It would serve as a deterrent should Potulny hit the waiver wire during his next contract.
- Rob Schremp: Not much reporting on this but he’s having a poor season. A season ago, Schremp was 45gp, 11-32-43 -2 with 108 shots (.956ppg). This season, he is 35gp, 5-21-26 -7 with 76 shots (.743ppg). He also weathered another MacT moment where the coach pointed out his negatives and responded with a “wish I’d heard it from the coach instead of the media” which probably didn’t play well in the corner office. I’d say we’ve reached the point where it might be better for all involved to see Schremp dealt and would bet money he’s gone at the deadline. This depends on the Oilers being a buyer of course, but Schremp’s window of opportunity with the organization may have closed at this point.
- Liam Reddox: His Desjardins’ 5×5/60 (1.27) and Corsi (-19.7) are not strong but he’s one of only two skaters in the organization enjoying their NHL rookie season this year (Steve MacIntyre). He’s won the confidence of the coach and appears to have found his niche in an energy role with some enthusiasm and enough intelligent play to satisfy the coach and the video. Another contract is an absolute and we shouldn’t rule out a one-way deal.
- Gilbert Brule: He’s 22gp, 11-5-16 in the AHL and has shown some things at the major league level too (11gp, 2-1-3). I could argue he’d be in the NHL right now if not for the silly waiver rule (why doesn’t the NHLPA make itself useful and change this rule? It hurts not helps players) but the issue we’re looking at here isn’t one at all in regard to this player. He was acquired in exchange for a useful NHL player and as such will get another contract. I’d bet the house it’s a one-way deal.
- Devan Dubnyk: Asiaoil is our resident goalie prospect expert and he’s been monitoring Dubnyk closely this season. In the thread below Asia said “well here’s some good news – Dubnyk just put up his best month as a pro with a stellar .938 SP in January. Let’s see if he can keep it up and if the dolt running the bench in SPR gives him a night off next month when they play 3 in a row. Looks like they just ran him into the ground before Christmas.” Truitt did in fact play the crap out of DD–something the kid has expressed a preference for in several interviews. If we take the third game of the three back-t0-back-to-back December outings from his season, Dubnyk’s SP blossoms to .912 which is in the range considering how awful Springfield is again this season. He gets another deal, no doubts.
- Colin McDonald: Colin McDonald is 24 years old. He’s aged for a (real) prospect and even though Jonathan Willis has pointed out he’s facing the heavy lifting at the AHL level, it’s not going to be enough. His bat is very poor at the AHL level, it’ll be a non-starter in the NHL. Last season, McDonald had these numbers through the end of January: 45gp, 9-10-19 -14 on 112 shots (.422ppg). This season he’s at 43gp, 3-5-8 -6 and 67 shots (.186) which looks to me like a guy who really can’t generate any offense on his own. At the same age, Fernado Pisani was scoring 60 points in 79 AHL games. Colin McDonald may get a second pro contract but the numbers suggest this is very close to his outer marker as a player.
- David Rohlfs: 2 AHL games and another 27 in Stockton for this 24-year old. Another contract is unlikely and he might end up in Europe next season.
- Ryan Stone: He’s an interesting player. A year ago in the AHL he went 36gp, 7-13-20 -4 with 66 shots (.556) and has followed it up with 43gp, 10-21-31 +3 with 75 shots (.721). His scouting report reads like a guy who should be able to grab a job on the energy line in the NHL at some point and his age (23) means he has some time. He’ll get another contract.
- Stephane Goulet: When you’re a fan of a specific player and the math damns him the only thing left is to cheer like hell. That’s where we are with Goulet, who is not progressing. A year ago he was 16gp, 1-3-4 -1 with 10 shots on goal and this season in the same time frame Goulet is 14gp, 1-2-3 +2 with 18 shots. He was 22 at the beginning of the season and is not yet an AHL regular. Another contract is unlikely.
- Bryan Young: This is a player who will probably get a contract, as veteran AHL defenders have good value. Young is 29gp, 0-3-3 -5 and not facing the tough opposition, but the Oilers farm team has been so hideous (and depth is one of the problems) I’d bet he gets a contract.
- Sebastien Bisaillon: 27gp, 4-7-11 +2 this season and holding his own on a poor hockey club. Based on Jonathan’s toughness of minutes, the Falcons appear to have asked him to perform well against soft opponents and he’s delivered. A raw, long term prospect who is certainly worth a contract.
- Matheiu Roy: He appears to be a player who lost his career to injuries. His -22 in 36 AHL games is impossible to write off as bad luck, playing with kids or an enormous bad streak. There’s something wrong here.
- Tyler Spurgeon: He’s healthy and performing well (46gp, 5-11-16 -1 against tough opposition) after a series of unfortunate events since turning pro. I think Spurgeon may eventually be capable of more offense, as his career AHL numbers (92gp, 11-28-39) have come in mostly defensive roles and during times of injury. He’s 22 and gaining some ground on many on this list, so despite his resume would have to rank as a no-brainer for another contract.
Anyone missed? Let me know. (edited to delete Slava Trukhno who has one year remaining as per doritogrande’s post in the comments section).