Exit Ramp 3: Grebeshkov

The Edmonton Oilers are fairly close to the cap and Denis Grebeshkov didn’t do them any favors by taking the Oildrop to arbitration. Grebeshkov’s boxcar numbers (72gp, 7-32-39) and plus minus (+12, best on the team) along with his age (25) are somewhat of a “perfect storm” for an overpay in arbitration. Those arguing his case may end up delivering a contract close to Tom Gilbert and his 4M cap hit.

Most Oiler fans hope the club signs Grebs to a long term deal soon, but there’s at least a little doubt he’ll return.

As a trade option, Grebeshkov is a valuable player. A club that missed out on the available free agents who can play a complete game on the blue might look at a player like #37 and see a less expensive option who might deliver more value than some of the expensive UFA’s.

The Oilers need some help up front, and with the strong scoring free agent forwards off the market (rumor has it Edmonton has made an offer to Ales Kotalik, who is right behind Alex Tanguay on the list of quality UFA L’s available right now) a player like Denis Grebeshkov could be mentioned in trade talks.

He’s among the most valuable options available for Steve Tambellini to trade this summer.

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50 Responses to "Exit Ramp 3: Grebeshkov"

  1. Smytty777 says:

    I don't know how badly the Oilers could get dinged in arbitration. Barker signing for around $3M is certainly helpful. Gilbert gave up 3 or 4 years as a UFA on that deal so I don't think it is comparable to the 1 or 2 year RFA award for Grebs.

    Generally I don't have any worries that the Oilers can retain him if they want to, I agree he is a very useful trading chip if they want to take that approach.

  2. Mark-Ryan says:

    I don't think I've ever disliked a blog post from you more, LT.

    Not to say it wasn't well written or insightful, just – a big HELL NO to trading Denis Grebeshkov.

  3. kris says:

    It would suck to lose him. I think the return would have to be pretty fantastic if he were to go.

    Aren't we much more likely to dump an older guy? I mean, even if we're in win now mode with Heatley, dumping Grebs doesn't make as much sense as dumping Souray, given how well Grebs plays an overall better 5×5 game. No?

    If we're not in win now mode, it makes even less sense to move him, obviously.

    But this is the Oil, so I guess that means he will be moved.

  4. NBOilerFan says:

    Well… great post LT. I have to admit this type of a deal never even crossed my mind.

    … and I certainly don't like the idea, either.

    Please, please trade Staios before Grebs…. please. We need to keep both Gilbert and Grebs on this team. Heck… deal Souray if you have to/can.

  5. Bill Needle says:

    Now you're thinking like the Oilers. I believe the brain-washing is almost complete.

  6. bookie says:

    Thus far there is a great deal of calmness around Grebs and there was almost a double wink from Tambi when he was asked about him. I don't know why, but I think we are safe here.

  7. mjsh says:

    This is one player I would not trade. Last summer, I said that Grebs would be better than Gilbert and got a lot of flack for saying that. I truly hope he signs for around 3 per year for 3 or more years. It does sound like he enjoys Edmonton and so I am hopeful he stays.

  8. Oilmaniac says:

    Grebs is the only one of the castoff experiments (nilsson being the other that comes to mind) to have worked out..

    Although I feel it would be nice to treasure this small victory… Compared to MAB, any future trade will bring a cummulative gain…

    I agree that he could be kept, to the benefit of the team.. but this team needs to be trimmed, up front moreso.. tough decision…

  9. Jfry says:

    i'd hate to see grebs go.

    but the hawks do need another d man and patrick sharp would look good playing the flames 6 times a year.

    LT, have you done a post comparing gilbert and grebs?

  10. oilerdago says:

    What concerns me about what I'm seeing this summer is the potential for all these young d-men the Oilers have developed being potentially shipped out of town.

    Gilbert was mentioned in trade rumors; Smid was part of the Heatley trade (and who knows if we'll be saved from ourselves on that one) and now this.

    LT, you've said it already this week but I think it bears repeating. What in the world have the last 3 years been about when you're willing to trade your better assets?

    Yes – there is redundancy w/small, young forwards and I can buy into the need at some point to clear that up because you're going to need to make a decision on Eberle and Omark here soon enough.

    But Grebs as well? If we lose 2 of our future top 4 d-men this summer they need to run the Oilers management out of town on a rail.

  11. DanMan says:

    I would much rather trade Tom Gilbert.

    Grebeshkov improved by leaps and bounds last year, while Gilbert may have already topped out.

    We are in danger of allocating almost $20 million dollars of cap hit for our top 4 d-men.

    I think Grebs will CASH IN through arbitration, making it a given that either Souray (because of the family situation) or Gilbert will be moved.

  12. raventalon40 says:

    If Grebs got around Gilbert's salary on his new contract, it'd hurt the Oilers but he would deserve it for the kind of season he had. If it happened though, I'd concentrate all my efforts into trading Souray. I love #44 but resigning Grebs is the cheaper and better long term solution.

  13. mjsh says:

    One thing we have to remember is that this has not been a playoff team for a long time. Changes do have to be made. The glut though is not yet on defense, it is in soft forwards. That is were the Heatly trade worked well. Two soft forwards for a scorer with baggage. Still wish it would happen.

  14. Coach pb9617 says:

    This is no good. No Conklin, no Grebs, who will be our acid-trippin favorite?

  15. Lowetide says:

    We've got Petry on the way. :-)

  16. Asciutto says:

    while Gilbert may have already topped out.

    There is zero evidence for that assumption

  17. Oilmaniac says:

    I agree w Oilerdago, it would hurt to lose these (d-men) young assests.. at the same time, the make up of this team needs to be considered..

    Many of the individuals on the roster have similar skill sets, pushing the limits of redundancy.. Souray/Vish for the powerplay.. I was going to say an excess of puck-moving Dmen, but actually right now there are a solid 3 – the way I would like it (simple like, 3 puck movers and 3 hard nose, pound it out of the opposition).. Sorry for thinking 'out loud', but my conclusion is draw at saying no to droping Grebs…

  18. Coach pb9617 says:

    If Petry sees gargoyles, I'm down for the trade.

  19. Promethian says:

    I love #44 but resigning Grebs is the cheaper and better long term solution – raventalon

    He may be a better long term solution, but not to #44. He's a lot more like #71 but bigger and IMO better defensively.

    Grebs also plays the left point on the PP meaning Lobomir's one-timer wouldn't be wasted playing second fiddle to Souray.

    Love all our D, including Smid, well, maybe not so much Staios anymore, but if one has to go, I say Lubomir who could be effectively replaced by Grebs for cheaper

  20. raventalon40 says:

    Lubo is also a better option than Souray, because he's only worth 200 k more against the cap. Factoring the kind of defensive play (blocked shots, clearing the zone, +/-) and offensive production (Vish didn't play a lot of the season) its obvious that Visnovsky is the better option than Souray.


  21. NBOilerFan says:

    I agree that Lubo is more duplicated on this roster then Souray at this point, but I also don't think Grebs is ready for that duty. He needs another season.

    Grebs is getting all the praise that Gilbert got after the 07-08 season when he played so well and everyone (me included) thought he was going to be a top-level D-man(still do).

    Then he had some ups-and-downs last year after his big contract and everyone started srutinizing him closer.

    I believe we really need to keep our Top-4 intact (#71, #44, #37 & ##77) together for another season. Which is another reason I liked the Heatley deal, we were dealing Smid not one of Gilbert/Grebs who are clearly ahead.

    Then if the Heatley deal doesn't go forward try to keep Smid as well and have a 5-7 of Strudwick, Smid & $1m UFA and save the $1.7m on the Staios deal.

    @ Lowetide
    I get a kick how you throw these posts out but don't really offer your opinion – just offer speculation about potential for them to occur. I'm curious as to your thoughts on this and how we should start the season on D.

  22. Lowetide says:

    NBOilerfan: I don't usually offer my opinion because it's not as interesting to me as speculating about what the team will do. My opinions vary day to day and often involve phrases like "blow it up" and "dammit all!" :-)

    I would trade Souray for a sniper and sign a defender from the Hajda tree. Oilers have been golden buying the second level ufa's and trading for hidden gems during the Lowe era, suspect that skill is still out there.

  23. NBOilerFan says:

    Thanks Lowetide.

    And I agree that speculation of what might happen is interesting, but your (along with a couple other bloggers) opinion on what they should do is just as interesting to me and I'm sure many others as well. Your one of a few who's opinions I hold in a higher light then most so its always interesting to hear your take.

  24. NBOilerFan says:

    One key factor people should remember regarding Vish, is how well we played when he was in the lineup, or more importantly, how poorly we played once he was gone. Regardless of the stats. Grebs is not ready to replace that dominance, not yet anyway.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Well the reasons I'd trade Souray is age and value. He's coming off an outstanding season and his contract isn't crazy or anything. A team looking for toughness and a bomb on the PP would be interested right away.

    Could the Oilers get in conversations for offensive wingers using Souray? Could they get in the game in Boston (Kessel) or NYR (Zherdev) using Souray?

    My guess is he'd be one of the first names mentioned by the other GM.

  26. Rick says:

    Grebs absolutely mush be kept. He really turned the corner last year.

    I've been advocating trading Gilbert, but maybe we should wait and see how he responds to Quinn and the new system. He's certainly a dynamic offensive defensman, but was caught napping in his own end way too much.

    With the right commitment to a more defensively oriented system, Gilbert could maximize his potential.

  27. DanMan says:

    Tom Gilbert is starting to remind me of Tom Poti:

    Good size, great skater, good puck mover. Doesn't play physical, prone to defensive mistakes. Bad luck/lack of focus with so many pucks hopping over his stick at the blueline.

    I think this is the summer to trade him because his value is probably high around the league.

  28. godot10 says:

    //Tom Gilbert is starting to remind me of Tom Poti://

    Tom Gilbert reminds me as a bigger Brian Rafalski, and a poor man's Jay Bouwmeester.

  29. Promethian says:

    //Grebs is not ready to replace that dominance, not yet anyway.//

    I think Vish is a great player. I do. But dominance? I think that's a stretch.

    To the eye the team's transition was inferior after his shoulder injury, but was the PP any worse? What was the team's record without him in the lineup? I'd wager it was just about the same as with him in it. Somebody who has epic stat skills can prove me right/wrong here.

    My point is that is one of the high-priced top 4 are to go, it should be Lubo. He also has one more year on his deal than Souray does.

    I also can't see how much better Lubo's transition game is than Grebs'. Again, this is a 'saw him good' opinion, so I could be wrong. To me, Grebs' passing is right up there with the really good puck-movers around the league.

  30. Promethian says:

    //Tom Gilbert reminds me as a bigger Brian Rafalski, and a poor man's Jay Bouwmeester.//

    I kind of thought I was crazy thinking things like this, so thanks, godot, for the company.

  31. Asciutto says:

    Could they get in the game in Boston (Kessel)

    Boston can't take Souray's salary.
    But Penner, Cogliano, Smid
    for Kessel and the damaged Bergeron works for both teams.
    Penner for Bergeron,
    and Cogliano/Smid for Kessel

    Then Staios to the Blue Jackets.

  32. godot10 says:

    Kessel (a RW) doesn't fill the need of a left wing for Hemsky (although I think Penner does the job well enough).

    Cogliano is likely to move to wing, and I think he is more suited to right wing than left (a la Glen Anderson). And I think Colgiano is every bit as good as Kessel, and prefer him as a player going forward.

    Plus, Eberle is in the pipeline as a Kessel-type.

    So Kessel doesn't fit or fill a need from my way of thinking.

  33. Asciutto says:

    "So Kessel doesn't fit or fill a need from my way of thinking."

    What about the need for a shiny bauble?

  34. NBOilerFan says:

    Lowetide said…
    Could the Oilers get in conversations for offensive wingers using Souray? Could they get in the game in Boston (Kessel) or NYR (Zherdev) using Souray?

    That is an interesting thought also LT.

    Prior to free agency my train of thought was dealing Souray (if possible) as a salary dump to make room for a talented UFA winger.

    Would Souray fit in the Bruins salary cap though?

    Promethian said…
    I think Vish is a great player. I do. But dominance? I think that's a stretch.

    Agreed…. poor word choice, but I disagree on the skill sets being as close as you. Also not based on stats, just my oponion of watching the play.

    I Would prefer to keep all of the top-4 intact, but if one of them had to go, I'd choose Souray also.

  35. rickibear says:

    I think Vish is a great player. I do. But dominance? I think that's a stretch.

    How many dmen in the league were top 15 in points and top 15 EVGA at the end of their season.

    The answer: one.
    Guess who?

    Lets keep playing this game!

    Can you name the number of defencemen who were top 60 (first pairing in all categories: EVPT, EVG, EVGA, PPPT, PPG, PKGA


    Can you tell me how many Dmen were top 30 PP and Ev production and below the league average in EVGA (2.50)



    And MR. Gilbert top 3 EVpts production, top 30 PPpts production and had his EVGA numbers Drop from 3.03 evGA/60 to 2.79 the last half of the season.

    Good luck picking!

  36. MattM says:

    RickiBear: Based on those numbers, isn't the smart play to trade Souray and sign Seidenberg, as he's still UFA?

  37. Asciutto says:

    Its a smart play to trade Staios
    and sign Seidenberg

  38. Master Lok says:

    What are the Oiler needs? (longterm? short term?)

    1) Veteran defensive center – you would think the Oilers wouldn't have to give up assets to address this. Just sign a UFA.

    2) Better LW option for Hemsky than Penner? – how many of them are out there?

    3) Defensive defenseman? Or is this the era of the puck moving defenseman and defensive dmen are no longer needed?

    4) Lastly, a top line centre and move Horcoff back to 3rd line shutdown? Pretty expensive 3rd line centre…

    I ask these questions because I'm not sure of the answers…

  39. Bruce says:

    Factoring the kind of defensive play (blocked shots, clearing the zone, +/-) and offensive production (Vish didn't play a lot of the season) its obvious that Visnovsky is the better option than Souray.

    Raven: Let's factor out the injury by parsing per 60:

    5v5 Goals/60
    Souray 0.38
    Grebeshkov 0.27
    Strudwick* 0.15
    Visnovsky 0.14
    Gilbert 0.14
    Staios 0.10
    Smid 0.00
    (* includes time at forward)

    5v5 Assists/60
    Gilbert 1.16
    Grebeshkov 0.96
    Souray 0.80
    Smid 0.80
    Visnovsky 0.78
    Staios 0.59
    Strudwick* 0.45

    5v5 Points/60
    Gilbert 1.30
    Grebeshkov 1.23
    Souray 1.18
    Visnovsky 0.93
    Smid 0.80
    Staios 0.68
    Strudwick* 0.61

    Obvious that Visnovsky is the better option than Souray?

    What's obvious to me is that we need to hang on to both Grebeshkov and Gilbert.

  40. NBOilerFan says:

    Well… Kotalik to Edmonton is dead…

    … he just signed with the Rangers, terms of teh deal were not released. Sathers is putting it to Tambs for over-offering for Heatley.



  41. NBOilerFan says:

    … and another good signing for the Ducks… Nick Boynton.

  42. Asciutto says:

    "The New York Rangers signed forward Ales Kotalik to a three-year, $3 million contract on Thursday."
    - tsn.ca

    They let a bargain walk
    Every God Damn Year

  43. NBOilerFan says:

    $3mil over 3 years? You kidding me.

    He must have wanted to go there… Edmonton would have surely offered more than that.

    … wouldn't they??

    *shakes head*

  44. Asciutto says:

    $3,000,000 Total?
    Or $3,000,000 Annual?

    One is typical Rangers,
    the other typical Oilers

  45. NBOilerFan says:

    Must be $3 per season, but the way I read the TSN article, it's is 3mil over 3 years.

    Am i reading that wrong?

  46. godot10 says:

    It is $3 million per year.

  47. DBO says:

    at $3 mill per I'm fine walking away from kotalik. he was solid, but for less we can fill his spot. Sykora is going to command less and he had chemistry with Hemsky before.

  48. Jfry says:

    it's 3m a year for 3 years bringing it to 9m and that's far too much for kotalik…

    as much as everyone liked him and he scored a little…we were a losing club in that time. i'd rather zherdev at the same money.

    when are we going to get rid of some of these contracts already so tambo can gain some flexibility? i really can't believe we haven't bit the bullet and dumped a few of these guys for 4ths and 5ths. the insistence on keeping this group together blows my mind. burke blew his team up. howson did…why are we doing nothing?

  49. rickibear says:

    What's obvious to me is that we need to hang on to both Grebeshkov and Gilbert.

    Bruce if I went to bed tonight with a top 4 of Souray, Gilbert, Grebs, and Seidenberg for the next 3 years.

  50. Promethian says:

    //What's obvious to me is that we need to hang on to both Grebeshkov and Gilbert.//

    Totally agree.

    I would also add Smid to that list.

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