Lubomir Visnovsky will have an MRI Friday and if the news is as we expect, Theo Peckham should get the call from Edmonton on Friday. Peckham can do a lot to help himself in terms of steady work in the fall (at the NHL level) and Ladislav Smid is overdue for a trip up the depth chart.
This will be an extremely interesting situation for both defenders, as coach MacT could go in a different direction. The Oilers top 3 (Souray, Gilbert & Grebeshkov) could be joined by veteran Steve Staios on the top pairings or (God forbid) Jason Strudwick.
However, Ladislav Smid has played in 177 NHL games and is 23 years old. He’ll be an RFA this summer and is making $952,000 (nhlnumbers.com) with a cap hit of $886,000 (same source). Paying him more than 5-6D money will be difficult if he can’t do the job.
According to Desjardins’ he’s playing the easiest available minutes with the least able helpers. He is -13 Corsi (better than Staios and Strudwick) and his EV GF/GA ON (13-15) is mid-pack among the Oilers NHL regulars on the blue this season.
Should the coach pass on Smid as a top 4 option, I suspect we have an early tell about what we can expect moving forward into the summer.
As for Peckham, this is a really nice chance to show he can compete for a top 6 spot in the fall. He did not do well in a cup of coffee early, but there are indications that he’s having a good season on that trainwreck in Springfield. Here are the Falcons’ D plus minus (over 30 games):
- Peckham -4
- Chorney -21
- Roy -23
And here’s what Jonathan Willis found in terms of toughness of minutes:
- Theo Peckham: 1.834
- Cody Wild: 1.812
- Taylor Chorney: 1.693
- Josef Hrabal: 1.658
- Robbie Bina: 1.651
- Mathieu Roy: 1.608
- Ryan Constant: 1.571
- Jake Taylor: 1.481
- Bryan Young: 1.476
- Sebastien Bisaillon: 1.309
- Mike Gabinet: 1.130
I’d say there isn’t much competiton in terms of possible callups, although Cody Wild has nice numbers in the time he’s been in the AHL.