Desjardins NHLE for CHL

This is Alex Plante of the Calgary Hitmen. He’s one of the more controversial draft picks by the Edmonton Oilers this decade. With all kinds of skill still available, the Oilers once again drafted what appeared to be a “need” selection in Plante.

Other recent examples might be Devan Dubnyk and Taylor Chorney.

There has been some talk amongst fans about the possibility of Plante not being signed and falling back into the entry draft. Should Edmonton follow proper procedure in this area, they would be rewarded with a mid-2nd round pick in a deep and quality draft this summer.

I suspect the Oilers sign Plante. He lost an entire season to injury and his skating is going to be an issue, but the things that got him drafted in the first round (size, skill, reach) are still there.

Plante is one of a very short but impressive list of CHL players who are in the Oilers system this year. Their collective Desjardins numbers are excellent. For those new to the process, this is an estimate of production based on the player getting the exact same treatment in the NHL as he does in his current league. Same minutes, same time on the PP, same quality of linemates and on it goes. Per 82 games.

Sam Gagner’s NHLE was rock solid, and I think (as I did with the NCAA) it might benefit to look at the past two seasons before posting this year’s numbers:

2006-07
  1. Sam Gagner: 16-39-55 (17)
  2. Slava Trukhno: 10-29-39 (19)
  3. Ryan O’Marra: 14-13-27 (19)
  4. Fedrik Pettersson: 10-14-24 (19)
  5. Sebastien Bisaillon: 4-14-18 (19)
  6. Theo Peckham: 5-11-16 (18)
  7. Alex Plante: 3-13-16 (17)

Gagner would come directly to the NHL and post a 79gp, 13-36-49 season, which is a stellar comp for his NHLE at age 17. Trukhno hasn’t shown the potential suggested here, and the other forwards didn’t deliver enough offense to imply a quick rise through the ranks. Among defenders, it’s interesting to note that Theo Peckham (not a kid with an offensive reputation) ranks pretty well in the group.

2007-08

  1. Jordan Eberle 15-11-26 (17)
  2. Philippe Cornet 9-9-18 (17)
  3. Milan Kytnar 3-5-8 (18)
  4. Jordan Bendfield 2-7-9 (19)
  5. Alex Plante 1-1-2 (18)

Eberle was well back of Gagner (which is no surprise, Gagner’s junior numbers were superior to Hemsky’s and he’s tracking ahead of 83 as time rolls on) but that’s a nice season in a tough league at that age. Not much else to talk about in this season, Plante’s injury buggered his season and Kytnar was a kid in a defensive role. Cornet looks like a tweener here.

2008-09

  1. Jordan Eberle 14-16-30 (18)
  2. Philippe Cornett 11-17-28 (18)
  3. Milan Kytnar 10-14-24 (19)
  4. Alex Plante 3-13-16 (19)

A year on and things have changed. Eberle stalled after the WJC’s and even though we can make allowances for team etc, the numbers serve as warning in terms of expectations. We shouldn’t expect him to have a big training camp and make the big club in the fall, even with a pretty strong AHL debut this spring. He is not an impact prospect similar to Gagner, Hemsky or Mike Comrie.

I think we can fairly address that question by placing Eberle’s NHLE against other kids at age 18. This is across leagues and seasons, so is not reliable beyind being a discussion point:

  1. Sam Gagner 13-36-49 (Note: actual NHL season)
  2. Ales Hemsky 12-30-42
  3. Mike Comrie 15-20-35
  4. Marc Pouliot 14-18-32
  5. Jordan Eberle 14-16-30
  6. Riley Nash 11-19-30
  7. Philippe Cornet 11-17-28
  8. Andrew Cogliano 10-14-24
  9. Shawn Horcoff 8-11-19

This gives us a nice estimate about Eberle’s upside offensively. Guys like Cogliano and Horcoff don’t perform well by this metric, but that makes sense. Their playing time in college as freshman would be considerably less than a player like Eberle (or even Nash, who isn’t fighting for minutes at Michigan State). The things that strick me from this list are that Pouliot left a lot of offense on the tarmac due to injury and that Eberle trails all the pure skills guys by enough for us to be concerned.

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121 Responses to "Desjardins NHLE for CHL"

  1. Garnet says:

    You know who’s not getting enough chatter around here? Potulny. Fourth in the AHL in goals and decent in his callups as I recall. Intriguingly, the guy we dealt for him, Syvret, seems to be doing well in the A as well.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Garnet: Potulny will be featured when I do the Desjardins NHLE for the Springfield Falcons after their season is over.

    Their final game I believe is next Saturday.

  3. DBO says:

    Good post LT. Sometimes we tend (just a little) to overestimate the impact of Juniors into the NHL. Eberle may end up being a good player here in Edmonton, but he’s not the savior, and will likely (and hopefully) be in the AHL next year.
    As for the AHL guys. I like what Potulny has done, as well as Stone coming over form the Pens. Looks like he’s a power forward, plays with grit, and can hold his own. a perfect 3rd or 4th liner. At this point is he a better or worse option then Jacques? And is Potulny better then Pouliot? We seem to have a glut of questionable players with similar skill sets. But none of them are good enough to warrent full time duties.
    Is there a Desjardins comparable for Omark? lots of highlites, but is he a fabian Brunstrom and Robbie schremp, or does he have skills in other areas that would allow him to excel in the NHL at his size?

  4. Schitzo says:

    Why does everybody keep glossing over the fact that we have to offer Plante a contract before we get any compensation should he re-enter the draft?

    I can’t see how any agent in his right mind could recommend Plante turn down even league minimum at this point.

  5. Lowetide says:

    DBO: Yeah, I think at this point we can probably project Eberle as a guy who has one-dimensional skills and is dominant (but not a franchise player) in junior.

    If we make a list resembling the one at the bottom, we can find comps. Joffrey Lupul is an obvious one, I think he was a better junior though. Lupul has been carved pretty well on this blog but he’s an NHL player who can score goals and as such has value.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Schitzo: I didn’t gloss over it, I said “Should Edmonton follow proper procedure in this area, they would be rewarded with a mid-2nd round pick in a deep and quality draft this summer.”

    I think Plante’s value is WAY higher than a minimum deal. The saw him good crowd have been on him for lack of foot speed and the fact that the Hitmen keep moving people past him on the PP, but many of his skills (size, wingspan) will transfer well to pro.

    This isn’t a marginal talent.

  7. Traktor says:

    “I can’t see how any agent in his right mind could recommend Plante turn down even league minimum at this point.”

    1. It is pretty much 100% guaranteed that Plante could find another league min contract.

    2. Edmonton will be harder to move up the depth chart than most teams.

    If I’m his agent and Edmonton offers me league min then I tell them to take a hike.

  8. jon k says:

    DBO: Eberle has to be returned to junior I believe as he will still be 19 for next season. Unfortunately, that might actually increase his chance of being on the NHL roster next season.

    It’s been thrown out before, but Ray Whitney might be a good top-end projection for Eberle.

    Schitzo: I think they would reject the league minimum. If the Oilers choose not to re-sign Plante he will be re-drafted, and it will be before the end of the 3rd round.

    Despite his poor counting numbers, the reports are that he really came into his own in a shut down role down the stretch and especially so far in the playoffs.

    When you have size like his, defensive ability is coveted almost as much as offense from the backend.

  9. Schitzo says:

    Hrmm. I’m in the minority on that one I guess. I know I would find it tough to walk away from $1.5 million on the advice that it’ll work out better to re-enter the draft.

  10. Lord Bob says:

    And, lo, in a nutshell why I don’t trust NHLE. Regina was an absolute cluster-you-know-what, particularly towards the end of the season, and on a team where Eberle and rookie Weal were the only guys who knew where the net is, Eberle was the top scorer and, on points-per-game, by a wide margin.

    I’m not entirely sure what more we could have asked than what he delivered, bar him being a Sidney Crosby or John Tavares sort of player.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Lord Bob: He didn’t make a step forward, he just didn’t. If he recovers this fall and dominates junior (or makes the NHL and does well) then the current indicators will have another chaper.

    But NHLE or no NHLE, a prospect who doesn’t take a big leap forward in his 18-year old season is taking on some water.

  12. Vic Ferrari says:

    Garnet:

    I remember hearing Ward (or someone similar, it was an Oiler coach/mgmt type for sure) talk about Syvret a couple of years ago on Gregor’s radio show, he was on late at night then.

    Anyways, Syvret had a bad numbers in the AHL (Hamilton I think) and brutal +/-, this after arriving from junior with high expectations.

    The Oiler guy said that Syvret’s scoring chance +/- was really good, he’d just had a bad year with the breaks. Now that may just have been BS to protect the player, but it may have been true also. If the latter is indeed true, then maybe he’s a better player than we thought, and will carve out an NHL career at some point.

  13. Schitzo says:

    If the latter is indeed true, then maybe he’s a better player than we thought, and will carve out an NHL career at some point.

    Good on him if he does. That trade worked out well for everyone involved.

  14. Doogie2K says:

    I love those Teddy Bear Toss jerseys, with the Santa hat on the Hitman and the snowcaps on the letters and numbers. It’s so lovably festive, and it’s unique to that event.

    Plante has indeed had a strong playoff from what I’ve seen so far: no real standout plays in the negative sense, and a lot of safe, easy stuff, which is what you’re looking for in a shutdown role. He’s contributed on the second PP (3A in 5 GP) and also had a couple of wicked hits, including a solid one on Luca Sbisa Friday night.

    Unfortunately, all four RSNs are showing an OHL game, or I’d encourage everyone to check out Game 2 against Lethbridge today (2:00 MT). The last game was really physical (capped by Ian Schultz and Ben Wright having a doozy of a tilt late in the third), and while neither team was 100% — Calgary due to rust and Lethbridge due to bus legs and a seven-game series — the Hitmen showed their #1 ranking far more in Game 1 than they did in either of the two games I was at last round.

  15. Lord Bob says:

    Eberle went from 1.07 PPG his draft year to 1.21 PPG this year on a team that just fell off a cliff. It was not a big step (his GPG actually dropped from .6 to .57, which is basically a goal and a half but still), but it was a step.

    Is he below where we might have hoped? Sure, and I’m not calling him a poor man’s Ilya Kovalchuk or anything. But at the same time, I’m not worried either.

  16. Phil says:

    I agree with Schitzo. I think he signs even at league minimum. More than that, I think it would be mistake to let him walk; there’s no other prospect in the system that has his potential – top 4 intimidating defenseman. Unless you count Peckham, but Peckham doesn’t have near the size and range. Then again, I’m biased because I am a big fan of this kid.

    I also agree with Lord Bob’s point here in that any number comparison has to have some sort of consideration given to quality of teammates. In my mind, there’s an asterisk beside Gagner’s numbers, because he had the luxury of playing with a legitimate offensive star. What would Eberle produce if he had a Patrick Kane type on his line?

    I understand what you’re saying LT, about not taking a step forward year over year. I just think that if Eberle was on a team in the OHL, with some offensive firepower to play with, we’d be talking about how well his NHLEs matched Gagner’s.

  17. jon k says:

    At the same time you have to question a prospect’s ability to be an impact player in the NHL when his team falters to the extent that Eberle’s did.

    The bottom line is that only the very best of prospects ever become impact NHLers. An inability to drive the bus at the junior level in his draft year indicates that Eberle is not going to be an impact NHLer.

    A good top six winger capable of keeping his head above water at the NHL level? Sure.

    Saviour of the franchise or even best prospect in the system? Doubtful.

  18. Lord Bob says:

    Saviour of the franchise or even best prospect in the system? Doubtful.

    I dunno. Have you seen the prospects in our system? It’s either Eberle or Linus Omark, whose qualifications appear to be second in SEL scoring (which is great) and Youtube highlights (which isn’t) and seems to score most of his goals cutting across the middle with his head down in the sort of manner that would have Robyn Regehr scrambling his eggs for good within a period.

    Oh, and he’s going to play in Russia anyway.

  19. Lowetide says:

    I’d argue Nash as the best prospect, and Theo Peckham should be in the conversation. I’m not as high on Omark as everyone else, which is of course different from hating him.

  20. jon k says:

    It’s obviously far too early to close the book on Eberle or any of our prospects. It’s just a knock against him that his season didn’t show the progress you’d expect for blue chippers.

    For what it’s worth, my trio at the top of the system were Eberle, Nash, and Petry. It now stands as Eberle, Nash, Omark, with Petry a half step below.

    The top 3 aren’t ranked in any order of significance.

  21. jon k says:

    *Peckham has been earmarked as an NHLer in my mind since I saw him at the Golden bears game two years ago.

  22. Lord Bob says:

    I think Theo Peckham is a sure shot to play in the NHL for a billion games barring injury, which is more than I can say for any of the other guys, but at the same time I don’t think his ceiling is as high as Eberle’s (or Omark’s).

    See, that Hockey’s Future system of ranking prospects is really stupid, but at least they got the idea that tthere’s both “how high he can go” and “how likely is he to make it at all”.

  23. Lowetide says:

    I’m going to have a long hard look at Petry sometime this summer. Unless my numbers are wrong, his hockey team saw their goals-for total fall from 135 to 62.

  24. Garnet says:

    Whenever someone mentions Ray Whitney the Oiler fan in me winces, naturally enough, and it makes me think about his junior career with the Spokane Chiefs and his linemate Pat Falloon. It struck me even then that the scouts (for the ’91 draft) would have to figure out which one of them is most responsible for their prodigious success — as they might have wondered about with Gagner and Kane. Both those guys will be fine, but Falloon was a disappointment. The fact that Whitney fell to the second round after scoring 67 goals shows, I think, how little he was rated. How many times has this come up, I wonder, where scouts mis-assign the credit for a great junior line?

  25. Lowetide says:

    Lord Bob: Except Schremp was once an 8.0B:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/9006/oilers_top20_prospects/

    The more we rely on “saw him good” the more we’re pissing in the wind.

  26. Lord Bob says:

    Fear not, LT, I was trying to say I liked the concept, not the actual numbers and letters being applied. I mean, the fact that Schremp is anything lower than a 9.0A tells us all we need to know about the calibre of their actual rankings.

  27. Lowetide says:

    I know for certain Imlach and the Leafs thought long and hard about Propp at #9 before going with the C on that Brandon line (Laurie Boschman) in the historic ’79 draft.

    Imlach blamed the scouts for screwing up in his book a few years later (maybe 1982).

  28. Ribs says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever cheered for a Detroit goal so hard in my life. Thanks Mr. Hossa.

  29. Scott says:

    The latter was a college guy and it’s hard to compare numbers because of that, but doesn’t Eberle remind anybody of Cammalleri?

  30. bookie says:

    So, I read that 6 people and about 20 members of the media showed up for the Rally. I almost feel bad for the young organizers who have just learned the lesson that facebook democracy is much easier than real world change.

  31. Scott says:

    On Michigan State:

    135 to 62?
    If that is true, is there any value in staying another year? Is it okay to have a d-man fill out in pro?

    On Plante:

    I’m sure he’ll get a contract.
    And I know there is a written rule about having to make an offer, but I wonder how it really goes down. For an example, why would AJ Thelen reject a contract offer, league minimum or otherwise?

    On Omark:

    It will be really interesting to see him at the World Championships, against players of known quality (to us).

    Oh yeah, and one more vote for Riley Nash as top prospect. A wide variety of skills including the ones that make turning pro a little bit easier.

  32. Scott says:

    bookie:

    What Rally?
    Something ‘Fire MacT’ related, I assume?

    Maybe organized over HF or Facebook spamming…

  33. Mr DeBakey says:

    If they don’t sign Plante
    that Smythe trade looks worse than ever.

    I don’t think we should be surprised if Plante’s path to the NHL looks like
    WHL – ECHL -AHL -AHL -NHL

  34. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’d argue Nash as the best prospect, and Theo Peckham should be in the conversation.

    Given his stats and finally getting to see him skate for a couple of games, I can’t agree more.

    He’s a big boy that’s going to get bigger, but he can actually move.

  35. Lord Bob says:

    I’m not sold on Nash, I’m just not. He doesn’t play enough games, he doesn’t play the big tournaments. And if you want a guy who hasn’t taken any big steps since his draft year, there’s your exhibit 1A.

    Now, I’m not saying the Oilers shouldn’t sign him. On the contrary, I’d have signed him ten minutes ago and have him down in Springfield with Eberle. But him I am worried about, even if I like his skillset.

  36. Schitzo says:

    For an example, why would AJ Thelen reject a contract offer, league minimum or otherwise?

    Drafted under old CBA, didn’t have to offer a contract

  37. Phil says:

    the fact that Schremp is anything lower than a 9.0A tells us all we need to know about the calibre of their actual rankings.

    Lord Bob, I’m sure you meant 10.0A+

    @Scott: but doesn’t Eberle remind anybody of Cammalleri?

    I suggested this a while back, and most didn’t agree, but I still think that it could be a reasonable top end hope for him. I stress the word ‘hope’.

  38. Scott says:

    Schitzo:

    Thanks, I guess that puts me to rest on that point.

    I can’t think of a recent similar example. Wheeler was pretty open about the fact that he was declining a more than fair offer.

  39. bookie says:

    Here is the article on the non Rally .

    I have to admit, I thought they would have a couple of hundred people there with all of the very timly news coverage and 10,000+ recent members joining the group (sort of a lightning in a bottle effect). I ranted a bit yesterday about how stupid the idea was and how pictures of fans ranting and raving in Edmonton would do nothing good for the team or the city and then …. seven people showed up.

    I find this both comforting (cause Edmontonians are not idiotic enough to march to fire a hockey coach) and somewhat sad (cause Edmontonians appear to be apathetic enough to not bother standing up for what they believe in).

    Anyway, you could probably do a thesis on this non-event event. Do some interviews with the online people and those that showed up and Ph.D. in sociology or political science – done!

  40. Lowetide says:

    The first question I need answered is how many of those who signed are younger than 18.

    If it is 80%, then it’s all good. If it is a bunch of guys my age then we’re in trouble.

  41. Scott says:

    LT:

    I decided to take a quick stab at that question myself out of curiosity.

    First conclusion, you can get a scary amount of information via Facebook.

    Second, it’s probably mostly high school kids and a few college kids.

    The ‘officers’ of the group consist of 2 people who graduated high school (I can even tell you what school) in 2007, 2 who graduated in 2008 (again, I can tell which school) and the 19 year old named in the article who plans to graduate University in 2011 (which probably means he graduated high school in 2007, and I could probably guess which school).

    Scanning the group members provides a lot of the same kind of people judging by schools/networks and profile photos.

    Harmless…

  42. Scott says:

    And I’m probably not old enough to be complaining about this kind of thing, but don’t they teach grammar or spelling in grade school anymore?

    From an organizer of the ‘Fire MacT’ Facebook group:

    “it wasn’t a hate rally,the purpose of the rally was to demand change from a mangement whos impression of good hockey is mediority”

  43. Lowetide says:

    I had mediority once, very painful. Still have the scar.

  44. Icecastles says:

    Thanks for the article link, Bookie. A good read. And funny.

    “The negativity is there, you can’t sugar-coat it – and it’s getting worse,” said Cunningham.

    When asked if he was familiar with the term ‘irony’, Cunningham shifted awkwardly from foot to foot before declaring that Kevin Lowe also needed to be fired.

  45. Black Dog says:

    Isn’t that what killed the dinosaurs?

  46. Chris says:

    One thing that should be noted about Eberle is that while we can state that he didn’t exactly make the leap in the WHL he does seem to have fared well when exposed to the next levels of competition. In six games in the AHL he was good for a pair of goals and assists on a team that the organization is appologizing for. Eberle also had a magnificent World Junior Championship. Obviously it would be nice if he’d taken the WHL by storm and single handedly carried his team by scoring three goals a night in a manner that left Pendergast twirling his mustaches and regaling us with tales that Eberle was not just a hockey player but the source of sunshine and happiness. The indicators are decidedly more mixed but I don’t think we should entirely discount a that he seems to have responded well to increased levels of competition, god knows if nothing else this team could use a player or two with a bit of competitive fire in his belly. Beyond that it seems unlikely that this organization has any prospect messiah lurking in the wings, more realistically what we can hope for is a collection of talented young players who can fill defined roles to create a very competitive winning team.

  47. Scott says:

    Isn’t that what killed the dinosaurs?

    I thought it was the Flood… We’ll just go with both things.

    When asked if he was familiar with the term ‘irony’, Cunningham shifted awkwardly from foot to foot before declaring that Kevin Lowe also needed to be fired.

    Hilarious.

    And here is your, “there’s still hope” update:

    If the Oilers can manage 3-0-0 we need the following from everybody else to make it in:

    Wild: 2-0-1 or worse
    Blues: 1-1-1 or worse

    And one of:

    Preds: 1-2-0 or 0-0-3 or worse
    Ducks: 0-3-0
    BJs: 0-4-0 and a terrible GD doing it.

    There’s still hope!

  48. Scott says:

    [I]t seems unlikely that this organization has any prospect messiah lurking in the wings, more realistically what we can hope for is a collection of talented young players who can fill defined roles to create a very competitive winning team.

    I think we are mostly realistic about that around here.

    Although I’m assuming that you are excluding Schremp as the term ‘messiah’ is much too weak.

  49. Lowetide says:

    Just so we’re clear, I do LIKE Eberle and think he’s doing fine. The MATH says we should place some things in the minus column along with all the good things.

    Speaking of Schremp, I’m wondering if the new coach is playing him much. I’ll do an “AHL #’s since the new coach came in” in the next few days and Schremp hasn’t done a lot.

    He’s pretty much dead in the water since mid-March (13gp, 0-3-3 -5).

  50. Lord Bob says:

    Schremp is working on his backchecking. As in, “spending all his time on his own third of the ice” backchecking. He only got those three assists because his teammates tipped in screaming slapshots from his own blueline.

    Rob Schremp is Stan Weir’s illegitimate son. Well, one of many, but he’s the one Stan smiled upon.

  51. Chris says:

    Schremp seems like he needs a change of scenery if anything is ever going to become of him. He’s missed his window of opporunity here so it would probably be a kindness to shuffle him off to Tampa Bay or Long Island to see if he can make something of himself in a more open field.

  52. Scott says:

    Schremp spent a long stretch playing on O’Marra’s wing.

    Which, if Dante were an offensively-inclined hockey player, would be the eighth circle.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Schremp: He’s going to need some help now imo. I was trying to think of how many undersized skill guys are subpar skaters and have success. There are way more Bobby Sheehan’s than there are slow men who lack size.

    Can we think of any?

  54. Scott says:

    The ninth circle involves finding out where the hell Jason Bogsignore is playing hockey…

  55. Icecastles says:

    Bonsignore (from Wikipedia):

    After failing to impress Tampa Bay, Bonsignore bounced around in the minor leagues, playing for the farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs and, after leaving hockey for two seasons, the Phoenix Coyotes, but was always unable to earn another NHL shot. His poor performance and apparent lack of drive led to him eventually being relegated to the ECHL, although he was outstanding in a brief stint in Switzerland. He tried out with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers in 2003 but was released towards the end of training camp.

    For the 2005–06 season, Bonsignore headed to Europe. He completed a tryout with the Pelicans in the Finnish SM-liiga, and subsequently signed on for another tryout with Ilves.

    In 2007–08, Bonsignore returned to North America, where he currently plays in the ECHL. After failing to score a goal in seven games with the Fresno Falcons, Bonsignore was traded for future considerations to the Trenton Devils.

    This year, he seems to have dropped completely off the radar. I don’t think he’s playing anywhere… again.

  56. Icecastles says:

    Released from Trenton (ECHL) March 2008, hasn’t been signed anywhere since.

  57. Rod says:

    Equivalencies are interesting and fairly useful indicators, but I’m not sure I can agree with LT’s final paragraph:

    This gives us a nice estimate about Eberle’s upside offensively. Guys like Cogliano and Horcoff don’t perform well by this metric, but that makes sense. Their playing time in college as freshman would be considerably less than a player like Eberle (or even Nash, who isn’t fighting for minutes at Michigan State). The things that strick me from this list are that Pouliot left a lot of offense on the tarmac due to injury and that Eberle trails all the pure skills guys by enough for us to be concerned.
    —-
    If we can make allowance for Cogliano and Horcoff, why not for the team situation in Regina? Is this one season really enough to pigeonhole Eberle offensive upside? Just saying it’s a tad early to be concerned. Plus, as mentioned by Chris, the kid has shown great ability to elevate when placed with better skill (World’s, and the A). Both are small samples of course. Still, it’s an encouraging sign.

    Here’s another difference between Gagner and Eberle. Gagner went from the pinnacle of his junior career–the Canada / Russia series MVP–to an NHL camp. Eberle went from the pinnacle of his junior career–starring role in the Worlds–to a awful WHL team. Would have been great if he tore up the WHL after returning, but it’s not entirely out of the realm that a good kid just had a tough time getting going again after experiencing better times. And that Regina team was clearly quite awful.

    To be clear, I’m not suggesting Eberle is another Gagner. Just a rather long way of saying I agree with Chris and Lord Bob. While things/numbers/equivalencies could have been better, it’s not all bad news. If he’s three years in the A and shows no improvement, I think that’s a better time to be concerned.

    As for Pouliot…wasn’t he playing with Crosby?

  58. Scott says:

    Rod:

    By team situation he means the player’s role within the team. College is a bit more competitive for an 18 year old and as such freshman do not get much ice time. Because this is a key factor in the NHLE numbers, you have to consider it.

    In the CHL, you can get huge minutes at age 17 or 18. I’d wager that Gagner had games over 25 minutes as a 17 year old. College freshmen (especially at a competitive hockey school like Michigan) would have to start on the fourth line and work their way up.

    And I’d have to check his birthday, but I think that Pouliot’s 18 year old season would be the one where they finished last and secured the rights to draft Crosby.

  59. Lowetide says:

    One thing I don’t understand well enough is what happened in Regina. Who were the leaders? Was Eberle one of them? Generally speaking 18-year old kids should be kicking out the jams.

    Hitmen win 2-1 today. Good team.

  60. Scott says:

    If he’s three years in the A and shows no improvement, I think that’s a better time to be concerned.

    At that point, it’s over. The time to be concerned should come before this. Schremp is approaching his third season in the minors. He’s done and holds little value. In order to maximize value from players decisions need to be made sooner. Right now is probably not the time to be making the decision, but it is the right time to be concerned if the management team plans on making a decision on a given player 2 to 3 years after having drafted him.

  61. Bruce says:

    Isn’t that what killed the dinosaurs?

    Nope, that was a giant media-write.

    Speaking of which, those kids did well, they got about 50 words of coverage for every protester.

    As for that Ph.D. thesis, I think it will have to be written by an outsider.

  62. Rod says:

    Obviously the boat has sailed on Schremp, but he hasn’t merely been treading water, he’s been regressing (so not entirely a comp for what I was talking about…but fair enough). Eberle still looks to be a fit for the top six. Only way it’s a problem is if we were counting on him for next season. How about we give the kid a year in the A before getting concerned? Doesn’t Detroit routinely trot out seasoned rookies? Then again, maybe we just have a different interpretation of the connotation of “concerned”.

    Back to Pouliot… Thanks to hockeydb.com, Pouliot’s 18 year old season corresponding to Eberle’s: 2003-04 (Crosby’s first year in junior). I honestly have no idea how much Crosby and Pouliot played together that season, but, here’s the numbers:
    Sidney Crosby 54 81 135 (59 games)
    Marc-Antoine Pouliot 25 33 58 (42 games)

    Interestingly enough, Pouliot didn’t improve much from his season @ 17 years old (the last place year) to the one @ 18 (with Crosby) just in terms of PPG. His equivalencies might have regressed though I’m not sure. Ouch. Maybe there is trouble for Eberle.

    Couple key differences I guess:
    - Eberle didn’t get hurt (so far)
    - Eberle has shown the ability to elevate his game with improved linemates (though small sample size…)

    I still think Eberle can exceed the Pouliot comp. I’d be concerned if he doesn’t show signs of that next year.

  63. quain says:

    You guys need to stop talking poorly of Schremp, you’re reducing his value!

    Schremp is progressing just fine. He is an excellent prospect. The Americans are being beaten back.

  64. Lowetide says:

    Just to re-re-state, I LIKE Eberle! I really do!

  65. Rod says:

    The “ouch” comment probably deserves some clarification…

    As a first rounder, and given the other players available, Pouliot has been a disappointment. He also hasn’t found a regular spot in the top six (though the coach may have something to do with that).

    Pouliot is a fine player and he’s clearly made the NHL. That’s an accomplishment, not an “ouch”.

    I only meant it in terms of expectations / indicators and being a first rounder (essentially what this thread is all about). Thought I should clear that up before a tangent conversation gets going.

  66. Doogie2K says:

    So, I read that 6 people and about 20 members of the media showed up for the Rally. I almost feel bad for the young organizers who have just learned the lesson that facebook democracy is much easier than real world change.

    Not to be a dick, but I totally called it. Actually, I even overestimated attendance at 12.

    Hitmen win 2-1 today. Good team.

    It really could’ve been a lot more, but the PP was awful — 2/8 doesn’t sound bad, but over two minutes of five-on-three with no results, and just a whole lot of nothing getting done. Lethbridge gave ‘em the gears in the third and had some glorious opportunities but nothing doing. Of note, there was an aborted scrap at the buzzer between Hitmen tough guy Ian Schultz (little brother of Caps defenceman Jeff) and Kyle Beach, the WHL’s answer to Sean Avery, and I expect more where that came from when the series shifts to Lethbridge. Plante had two penalties: the high-sticking call I missed (I was late to the game), but the trip was a complete accident. Some chirper was criticising him for not destroying a guy (#18, can’t remember the name) on a rush, when all he was doing was angling the guy away from the net and preventing him from getting breathing room, never mind a shot. Decent game for him.

  67. Doogie2K says:

    There we are. #18 for the ‘Canes was Carter Ashton, which sounds like a backwards kind of name. Relative of Brent?

  68. godot10 says:

    Before there was Mike Sillinger, there was Brent Ashton!

  69. Bank Shot says:

    Schremp: He’s going to need some help now imo. I was trying to think of how many undersized skill guys are subpar skaters and have success. There are way more Bobby Sheehan’s than there are slow men who lack size.

    Can we think of any?

    Kyle Wellfed, and Ribeiro.

    I wonder what they possess that Schremp doesn’t.

    I guess Ribeiro had the advantage of breaking in with a team that loves themselves some soft, skilled, forwards.

    Wellwood,maybe just flat out more talented.

    I seem to remember Schremp being near a point per game this season until being called up and subsequently sent down which makes me think his second half numbers may be the result of pouting more than anything.

  70. Lowetide says:

    Through the end of December, Schremp was 25gp, 2-20-22. Previous to that, he was 9gp, 0-10-10 to start season.

  71. Chris says:

    Well a more flattering interpretation of “pouting” might be ‘frustation’ and a subsequent lack of motivation as what he percieved as a good performance went unrewarded.

    But I think my basic point holds in that Schremp needs to head off to another organization. Right now we should be looking to flip him for a prospect in another system that similarly seems to fail to make headway there, in the hopes that each might prosper from a change of scenery.

  72. Ozzieoiler says:

    Gee Whiz the way this AHL season is going Bryan Young will end up with more goals then Schremp.

  73. doritogrande says:

    One thing I don’t understand well enough is what happened in Regina. Who were the leaders?

    I seem to remember Colten Teubert being one of the leaders before he went away to the WJC. Then there was a well-publicized drop off in his “give-a-damn” level and is in danger of losing his place as the new Regehr.

    I seem to remember that their goalie, Linden Rowat, was once thought of as a goalie who could go places at the next level. Again, another massive drop in his play.

    You’d have to think Eberle was a leader too. Both he and Teubert had A’s too.

  74. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m not sold on Nash, I’m just not. He doesn’t play enough games, he doesn’t play the big tournaments.

    He played in the NCAA playoffs, two games. That’s a damn big tournament.

  75. Dennis says:

    LT: did you ever google to see what Don Lever said about Pouliot?

  76. Coach pb9617 says:

    Schremp: He’s going to need some help now imo. I was trying to think of how many undersized skill guys are subpar skaters and have success. There are way more Bobby Sheehan’s than there are slow men who lack size.

    Can we think of any?

    It’s a bit more daunting that you make it out to be. It should be “undersized skill guys who are subpar skaters, cannot carry the play on their own, do not like the high traffic areas and cannot work the edges and have success.”

  77. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I had a quick look around but didn’t find anything.

    Coach: I think the only real comps are around expansion. Bobby Leiter, that kind of guy. Schremp can probably help someone down the line but it’s going to be in a defined role.

  78. DBO says:

    On a totally unrelated note, been drifting through the stats pages of the top teams. and one thing about Detroit totally struck me. None of their top 4 centermen has less then a 52.2% faceoff.
    By order of # of draws
    W L T %
    Zetterberg 599 516 1115 53.7
    Datzyuk 621 474 1095 56.7
    Draper 596 390 986 60.4
    Filppula 380 348 728 52.2

    They are all about puck possesion. A look at the Oil top 4
    W L T %
    Horcoff 920 783 1703 54.0
    Brodziak 478 451 929 51.4
    Cogliano 246 418 664 37.0
    Gagner 282 381 663 42.5

    A few observations:
    - MacT has killed horcoff this year. not forgiving horcoff’s lack of production, but man he must be tired.
    - You up your faceoff to Detroit’s level you increase your PP by a few points and your PK by a few points. In the new NHL, faceoff % may be one of the most important aspects of a team’s success. That may be the difference between playoffs and no playoffs for this team.
    - you don’t have to be big to win faceoffs. Filppula is the biggest at 6’0, 193 lbs.

    We need a 3C faceoff guy like Malhotra or Pahlsson in the off season. Hell we need a lot, but that one move in my opinion may take care of the most important thing we need.

  79. Lowetide says:

    Oh hell they’ll bring in two guys for the faceoffs and trade all the scoring wingers. The Oilers can’t find balance in the dictionary.

  80. DBO says:

    LT: LOL. I sense a feeling of despair? looking at guys around the league that can win a faceoff and play a physical game, while still having some offense, a name that could be had popped out. Brandon Dubinsky from the rags is an RFA after the year. he only has 11 goals, but is 22 yrs old, has a 53.6 faceoff % and is 9th in the league with 238 hits. The Rags i’m sure would want to keep him, but they are going to be up against the cap, and unless they can unload one of their 2 expensive centers in Drury and Gomez, they may be willing to deal Dubinsky (since they also have to sign Zherdev and Sjostrom).

    Cogliano and a prospect/pick (a good spot for Schremp?) for Dubinsky.

  81. DBO says:

    And the rags also have to re sign Callahan. 21 goals, 257 hits. They are ripe for a deal or an offer sheet.

  82. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT, the only long-haul success that I can come up with in the last 20ish years is Ray Whitney, but he’s quick and heady on the ice.

    Paul Gardner in his Rockies/Leafs days comes to mind, he wasn’t small, but but played small. It’s not a perfect match, certainly.

  83. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT: LOL. I sense a feeling of despair? looking at guys around the league that can win a faceoff and play a physical game, while still having some offense, a name that could be had popped out. Brandon Dubinsky from the rags is an RFA after the year.

    The Rags are one of four teams against the cap with two RFAs that are both useful to this club. The dual offer sheet system should be in play everywhere this summer. I advocated it here last summer for Ehrhoff and Clowe. I want the same for these pairings:

    Boston [Kessel, Krejci]
    Washington [Morrisonn, Jurcina, Fehr]
    Rangers [Zherdev, Dubinsky, Callahan]
    Chicago [Versteeg, Bolland, Wisniewski, Barker]

    Offer the impact player $3,923,434 which is a 1st and 3rd round pick. Offer the secondary player $2,615,622 per which is a 2nd round pick. Chicago, Boston and the Rangers can’t afford either one, really.

    In the case of Washington, you can offer less to each of the three.

  84. DBO says:

    LT and coach: what about Hakan Loob? I don’t seem to remember him being all that fast. he had great puck handling skills, and a hell of an accurate shot. might fit the Schremp comparison.

  85. DBO says:

    Coach: i like he double offer sheet. However i seem to remember something about no more then 1 offer sheet at a time is allowed for any one team, both offereing and receiving. Could be wrong.

    On the Washington thing: what about a deal for Laich? Solid two way player, $2.067 cap hit. If they do have cap issues, and need to sign some key RFA’s, laich might be an easier get for us.

  86. oilerdago says:

    DBO: You are absolutely right that 3C is critical. A guy who can be solid on faceoff's AND the PK (the other thing that's killed us this season).

    But you don't trade Cogliano. You move him to the wing. If he can grow into a 20-25 goal scorer as a 3rd line winger, great. And he could kill penalties (and score a goal or two short-handed from there as well).

    Next season I see the 2nd and 4th lines set (89/19/12 & 51/46/22). I won't be shocked if 12 is shipped somewhere, but if 89 has a preference, Tambo has to respect that.

    But a logjam of forwards and some tough decisions have to be made:

    - Priority (as you said) get a 3C guy to take pressure off Horc and improve the PK. This moves 13 to 3rd line wing w/34 on the other flank.

    - Priority: Who is going to the the first line wing opposite Hemsky? Do you reunite Horpensky or do you do a package that could include 77-27-suspect (78, Brule, Chorney)-+ a pick and do a pre-deadline deal with FLA for Bouwmeester?

    - In that case do you then see if 21 is worth being given a shot on the first line and resigned or do you think his numbers have been a mirage? A lot of this also depends on what happens behind the bench.

    - Priority: You re-sign 37 and 5. This team lacks defensive depth. Smid should still be a good value. 49 also looks like the real deal but needs patience as a 7th D.

    - Do you buy out 18 (please) or 24? (or can you get anything for them in a trade package)?

    And yes, you sign Plante and Omark.

    And then you have to do something about goalie and that's going to be tricky because I don't see Roli taking less than a 1 year.

    Big decisions. But don't make bad ones when you've finally got a couple of kids who've really shown some stuff.

  87. J. Moore says:

    perhaps i’m out on a limb here but wouldn’t it make more sense to give king schremp what he wants (the NHL) for a serious cup before letting him walk..

    i mean, if he really is pouting/frustrated/angry about being being kept in the minors and that is subsequently effecting his play then who really knows what he’s capable of?

    let’s be honest here, how many people do their BEST work when their boss talks bad about them, gives them the worst assignment, and neglects them? some people respond with their best, others their worst. i’d suggest schremp falls into the latter. it makes a little sense at least.

    by no means do i agree with schremp if this is his logic (suck it up and work harder would’ve been nice) but he is, after having watched a fair bit of knights game, i’d say an overly emotional player.

    not very many baseball teams would give up on a guy after just 21 at-bats.. and it’s not like dragging him around for 30 games while feeding him PP and softies could hurt us THAT much.

    i don’t fancy him at all really, but walking away at this point makes no sense to me. it’s not like exposing him at the NHL level as a not-NHL player is really going to lower his value anymore than it already has (assuming it can’t be too high since he’s still here).

  88. Icecastles says:

    I have to agree with you, J. Moore. Especialyl when earlier this year they said that they were going to bring him up for an extended period then when they did and he had a pretty decent start, he was back down in only three games. Considering the other guys and tactics they’ve tried out up here (Reddox on the first line, Smid as a winger), what did they have to lose? They seem intent on letting their investment on him yield a complete bust.

  89. JRM* says:

    and on top of that, if they hand macT his papers and don’t resign schremp.. eesh.

    i’m not sure who’s running the house of kurri blog but the post on rookie games/significant rookie games really has my wheels spinning as to why an organization that hands out cups left and right can’t find one for a former first round pick. you’d think lowe would want to get him in the lineup in order to make himself look good right?

    i guess the logical answer would be that klowe has nothing to fear.

    and going to go by JRM now instead of J. Moore for future reference lol.

  90. doritogrande says:

    I know I’m opening myself to criticism from all quarters, but Tyler Ennis looks like a better bet than Eberle right about now.

    Little dude’s over 2ppg in the playoffs right now. Five(!) assists tonight.

  91. PDO says:

    Anaheim losses in regulation, CBJ gets a point and slips out of reach.

    Oilers need to go 3-0 and:

    Minnesota needs to do no better than 2-0-1.
    St. Louis needs to do no better than 1-1-1.

    Then they need either:

    The Ducks to go no better than 0-1-1.
    The Predators to go no better than 1-2.

    Minnesota plays Stars, Preds, @ CBJ.

    Ducks play @ Dal, @ Phx.

    Preds play Hawks, @ Wings, @ Wild.

    Blues play @ Yotes, vs CBJ, @ Colorado.

    We need some help.

  92. Lowetide says:

    Schremp is in no way a factor for a major league job with the Oilers next season imo. I guess if he came into TC and ripped it up, or maybe they deal Cogs and Nilsson and don’t sign Omark.

    But even then he’s not the obvious option. Plus I swear the last Falcons game on tv featured a bow-legged Schremp taking an hour to skate from the red to the blueline.

  93. Mark-Ryan says:

    Oilerdago: Moreau has trade value, I’m sure. Something tells me that most head-offices don’t give know what a Corsi-number is, let alone track scoring chances for/against. I think they’ll see a guy who’s had an offensive season to rival his best, has been even or better for the majority of the season, hits and is by reputation a “heart and soul” leader. Somebody will value him enough to send a lower-to-mid range prospect deemed redundant away for him, if we’re interested.

  94. bookie says:

    I say we sign Jason Bogsignore and send him down to room with Robbie Schemp next season. We dont play him or anything, just make the two of them spend time together. Coaches always thinks excellence rubs off on players, but I sometimes think that a good dose of reality can sometimes help as well.

    Sort of like the scrooge thing and the ghost of christmas future!

  95. bookie says:

    On another note, I wonder how many of us are Robbie Shremp’s of real life. I could certainly work a little harder to reach the top of my field, but am comfortable where I am…

  96. bookie says:

    One final note…Tuesday is HUGE, we will know if there is any legitimate hope or if its officially all over…

  97. eidy says:

    d2k: carter ashton is brent’s son. ranked pretty high in mid season rankings as well. when i lived in stoon my brother in law and I were charged with watching all the bantams and placing them in different tiers. he was an easy one, partly because of the coach:)

  98. boopronger says:

    saw 2 live whl games this year. One with Eberle and one with Tyler Ennis. Eberle didnt impress me at all, he was mostly invisible, while Ennis showed a lot of jam and was dangerous most of the night.

    I know it was just 1 game, but Eberle really didnt impress me at all. My comment is in regards to a previous poster talking about Ennis. Just made me think of the 2 games.

  99. Phil says:

    THE ULTIMATE SKILL GUY WHO COULDN’T SKATE:

    Lucky Luc Robitaille. Although he wasn’t exactly a midget. But the reason he fell as far as he did in the draft was because of his poor skating.

  100. Bruce says:

    Going back quite a ways, Camille Henry was a small guy who as I recall wasn’t overly fast, just slippery as his nickname “Camille the Eel” attests. At ~150 pounds he still went to the tough areas to score garbage goals, finishing in the top 7 goal scorers 6 times in his career. Like many great players of his era, Henry wound it down with the expansionist St.Louis Blues.

    A more recent version of a similar player was Tony Tanti, the 5’9, 180-lb. plodder who collected 204 goals worth of garbage over 5 consecutive seasons with the 80s Canucks. Like Henry, Tanti was exceptional at deflections.

  101. Schitzo says:

    Good lord, if they lose Omark over $10,000 per year in the AHL I will pull my hair out, I swear to god.

    Wasn’t a billionare owner supposed to make this stupid shit a thing of the past?

  102. Doogie2K says:

    @JRM*: Church of Kurri is a Coach PB9617 production.

    @Eidy: Thanks for confirming that. =)

    Lucky Luc Robitaille. Although he wasn’t exactly a midget. But the reason he fell as far as he did in the draft was because of his poor skating.

    Five rounds after Tom Glavine, of all people. That little factoid never fails to amaze me, particularly in an era when the two-sport athlete is all but non-existent.

  103. jon k says:

    A new article today from a Swedish newspaper says that Omark is leaning toward signing in the KHL.

    The article also mentioned that he was disappointed that the Oilers would not offer him the rookie max for an NHL entry level, nor the AHL max for time spent there (~$65,000?).

    *EDIT: Meant to say KHL, not NHL.

  104. Lowetide says:

    Well the simple answer is that they don’t have room for him. Will Omark be better than Nilsson in 09-10? Very likely not, so we’re devoting a bunch of at-bats to a rookie again.

    I hope they sign Omark, but they’re going to have to deal one of the small skill guys if he makes the club.

  105. Matt N says:

    The article also mentioned that he was disappointed that the Oilers would not offer him the rookie max for an NHL entry level, nor the AHL max for time spent there (~$65,000?).

    What could possibly be the motivation for playing hardball with this guy? An exciting prospect with some buzz around his name. Could really help out a horrible Falcons team next year. Ya, lets hold him up over an AHL contract squabble.

  106. Matt N says:

    @ LT:

    I understand that Omark is OK with playing in the A this year. He isn’t competing for Nilssons roster spot next year IMO. Giving at bats to an exciting rookie is what the A is designed for.

  107. Bank Shot says:

    We can probably officially write off Omark. It seems whenever problems in contract negotiations go to press, that player leaves shortly thereafter.

  108. jon k says:

    Matt N: The tone from more recent Swedish news articles appears to suggest that he’s not willing to spend the year in the AHL.

    The shift seemed to occur around the time a KHL team offered Omark and his friend Harju deals worth between 1 and 2 million US per season.

  109. Coach pb9617 says:

    On another note, I wonder how many of us are Robbie Shremp’s of real life. I could certainly work a little harder to reach the top of my field, but am comfortable where I am…

    And your thong collection is impressive.

  110. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh god.

    Just when the org is about to dump Rob Schremp, Omark becomes Schremp deux.

  111. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: i like he double offer sheet. However i seem to remember something about no more then 1 offer sheet at a time is allowed for any one team, both offereing and receiving. Could be wrong.

    One offer sheet for the draft pick, if I recall correctly.

    Because you need to have the picks available should they accept, you can't send out a two sheets, both containing your 1st round pick, as an example.

    Stealing from Joe on MC's site:

    950,593 and below = no compensation
    950,593 – 1,440,292 = 3rd round pick
    1,440,292 – 2,880,587 = 2nd round pick
    2,880,587 – 4,320,880 = 1st & 3rd round pick
    4,320,880 – 5,761,173 = 1st, 2nd, & 3rd round pick
    5,761,173 – 7,201,469 = Two 1st’s, 2nd, & 3rd round pick
    7,201,469 and over = Four 1st round picks

    So if you offer Krejci 2,880,586, the compensation is a 2nd round pick. If you offer Kessel 4,320,879, the compensation is a 1st & 3rd round pick and you aren't overlapping the compensation. Both offers can go. If both are accepted, great, you aren't drafting this year, but who in the hell cares, you have Kessel and Krejci and damned reasonable prices!

  112. jon k says:

    Coach: No offense, but I doubt either of those players even give those offers a sniff. Both will likely get better initial offers from their own teams. Kessel is likely looking for a mid-to-long term deal at around 4.5 to 5.0 while Krejci will likely be looking for 1 or 2 year term at 4.0. Hemsky’s salary is a pretty good comp for Krejci while Kessel’s numbers are pretty similar to Carter’s the year he re-upped.

    There’s also the underlying issue that we are going to be tight to the cap next season even if the cap doesn’t fall. With Smid, Grebeshkov, and a goalie to sign we are already at close to 47 million for the 2009-2010 season.

    The only offer sheet I could see being feasible is for a goalie if Roli walks.

  113. Mr DeBakey says:

    Schremp needs to head off to another organization. Right now we should be looking to flip him for a prospect in another system that similarly seems to fail to make headway there, in the hopes that each might prosper from a change of scenery.

    Zaborsky is one of the Rangers late-round boom or bust selections, and at various times over the past two years, the young Slovakian player has yo-yoed between the two. There is no question that Zaborsky has soft hands with a quick release, and can be very defensively responsible.

    What the Rangers would like from him is to become a big-game player, a go-to offensive wizard. Zaborsky has incredible offensive instincts; the question is whether he will develop the mental and physical resilience to become a well-rounded player.”

    Camille Henry?
    Good Lord
    And I thought I over-revelled in the past.

  114. Councilman Les Winan says:

    LT, I'll take a stab at explaining some of what went wrong with the Pats this year.

    Unfortunately, between working shift work and a new baby, I didn't get to many Pats games this year, but since I live in Regina, I did follow the team.

    There were a lot of things that went wrong during the year, but probably the biggest problem was a lack of experienced players, particularly on the back end. For most of the season, the Pats only had 3 experienced defencemen, only 2 of which were over 18 for the whole season. Overall, the team was weighted more towards 18 year olds and younger, which can be hard in a league like the WHL.

    The start of the season was a bit uneven, but the Pats were at least in the mix until Eberle & Teubert left for the world junior camp. They went into the elevator shaft at that point, only winning 2 games out of 13 between Dec 3 and Jan 9. Not only were the Pats missing 2 of their best players in Eberle & Teubert, but one of the 2 remaining experienced defencemen (Matt Delahey, a late NJ pick in last year's draft) got hurt during that time frame and missed about a month. As a result, the remaining one, 20 year old Victor Bartley, was being run ragged, and the Pats were forced to depend on 16 and 17 year olds (and even one 15 year old for a number of games) on the blueline.

    Once Eberle and Teubert came back, the team was in a tailspin, and they weren't able to pull them out of it. Being tired from the world junior tournament was understandable, I guess. Given the amount of youth on the team, and the fact that they had a rookie head coach in Dale Derkatch, they struggled to put things back together and ended up missing the playoffs. They took some gambles that didn't work out, like on Jesse Dudas, a 20 year old dman who actually got hurt at Oilers camp at the beginning of the year, and then refused to report back to his junior team (Swift Current Broncos), but ended up cutting him for a bad attitude.

    I'll be interested to see how things go for the Pats next year, with their young guys having another year of experience. I don't know if Derkatch will be back, but I know that they considered Marc Habscheid for the job originally, who's a much more experienced coach.

  115. Councilman Les Winan says:

    BTW, my take on Eberle, having seen him live several times, is that he fits the Oilers’ recent profile of guys who think the game exceptionally well. He seems to see the ice very well, and is very aware of where his teammates are at all times.

    Excellent hands, and a good wrist shot (I don’t know if I’ve seen him take a slapshot), and although his skating isn’t great, he seems to be in the right places at the right times.

    You don’t see him initiate a whole lot of contact, but he’s not easy to knock off the puck, either.

    He did wear an A this year, but he doesn’t seem like the real vocal type to me. More of a lead by example kind of guy.

  116. Bruce says:

    An exciting prospect with some buzz around his name. Could really help out a horrible Falcons team next year.

    There may be an opening at the Hockey Jebus position. Sounds like Linus would fill that bill.

    Camille Henry?
    Good Lord
    And I thought I over-revelled in the past.

    Hey Mr. dB, when it comes to comps the past is fair game, as far back as you can remember. Which for me is getting to be a very long way.

    I also like Joe Mullen as a maximum upside comp for Eberle. Just 5-9, 180, Joe could better be described as quick than fast, but he thought the game very well indeed. He had first-rate awareness, anticipation and timing along with that great release and finishing ability. He was best as a sidekick with a top-notch centre, and was fortunate to play quite a bit with Federko, Gilmour, Lemieux and Francis.

  117. Rod says:

    jon k said…
    Coach: No offense, but I doubt either of those players even give those offers a sniff. Both will likely get better initial offers from their own teams. Kessel is likely looking for a mid-to-long term deal at around 4.5 to 5.0 while Krejci will likely be looking for 1 or 2 year term at 4.0. Hemsky’s salary is a pretty good comp for Krejci while Kessel’s numbers are pretty similar to Carter’s the year he re-upped.

    There’s also the underlying issue that we are going to be tight to the cap next season even if the cap doesn’t fall. With Smid, Grebeshkov, and a goalie to sign we are already at close to 47 million for the 2009-2010 season.

    The Bruins are in even worse cap position:
    Bruins: 09/10 46.733 (14 players signed)
    Oilers: 09/10 46.779 (18 players signed)

    Unless they deal away Savard (entering last year before UFA), don’t be so sure the Bruins could make better initial offers.

    I like coach_pb’s idea of dual offers to either the Rangers or Bruins. Could be a fun summer.

  118. Doogie2K says:

    I also like Joe Mullen as a maximum upside comp for Eberle.

    You and Pierre Maguire both. On the one hand, it’s a good thing because Maguire coached Mullen once upon a time (just ask him). On the other hand, it’s Pierre Maguire, who is to hyperbole what Facebook is to democracy inaction.

  119. jon k says:

    Rod: Where did you get those cap figures?

    I use NHLSCAP and they seem to suggest that the Bruins will be at 47,645,833 in 09-10, and that includes Thomas’ new contract extension.

    That leaves about 9 million to give Kessel and Krejci extensions which will amount to about 5.5 million more than they’re on the books for now.

    It’ll be tight, but I think they can fill out the remaining two 4th line positions, 6th Dman, and a backup goalie with that amount.

    Even if they can’t, I can see them dealing Bergeron before they let Kessel or Krejci go to offer sheets at those prices.

  120. Chris says:

    That’s an interesting player that the Rangers have Mr.D, perhaps the Rangers would intered in a swat. I know Lowetide usually falls back on baseball analogies but I never followed that sport as I’ve always been struck by how absurbedly boring it was. But basical in the not so distant past where the Raptors traded Arugo to the Utah Jazz for Chris Humphries. Both prospects who weren’t going anywhere with their organization, so the two organizations swapped headaches and it turned out quite well for the Raptors.

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