RE 09-10: The Blue

The Oilers current blue is very, very good. It’s the best group of 7 since the Stanley run and remember a bunch of those guys were acquired late in the 2006 season.

The Oilers lack a “complete” player like Chris Pronger, but they have 4 quality defensemen who form the heart of the current team. In Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky, Tom Gilbert and Denis Grebeshkov Edmonton has four guys who can make a difference and a couple of them might even get better.

Rounding out the group are veteran Steve Staios, youngster Ladislav Smid and extra Jason Strudwick. Bubbling under is Theo Peckham who could surprise and make the team if there’s an injury or Strudwick loses another step.

Here are their reasonable expectations for 2009-10:

  1. Sheldon Souray 66gp, 17-25-42 (.636)
  2. Lubomir Visnovsky 66gp, 11-29-40 (.606)
  3. Tom Gilbert 82gp, 9-31-40 (.488)
  4. Denis Grebeshkov 71gp, 6-26-32 (.451)
  5. Ladislav Smid 65gp, 2-14-16 (.246)
  6. Steve Staios 75gp, 2-10-12 (.160)
  7. Jason Strudwick 30gp, 0-1-1 (.033)

Oilers blueliners scored 47 goals one year ago, I’m projecting the same number. With my forward projection total (208) we have 255 GF. That’s 27 more goals than a year ago, all from the forwards.

Next up: three goaltenders.

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39 Responses to "RE 09-10: The Blue"

  1. oilersinsider says:

    Where I think we really do well and beyond your expectations is in the injury department. You have only one defenceman as playing a full season. I just find that hard to imagine. Even if it's missing one or two games, you have quite a few players missing substantial time in your projections.

    With a healthier line-up, I imagine you can add a good 10-12 goals and 30 points.

  2. Racki says:

    Your factoring of injuries into Souray/Visnovksy's totals makes me want to cry… because it's a good possibility that happens. *Sigh* let's hope they somehow remain relatively healthy at least in the top 4 this year.

  3. oilersinsider says:

    @ Racki.

    We must have been thinking about the same thing at the same time.

    I think injuries is a big factor here that we may be too concerned about.

  4. R O says:

    LT: You are missing about 37 man-games on the defence, which is more than you've projected Strudwick to play as 7D. Are these going to be replaced by Peckham? Might be prudent to give him a RE if that is the case.

  5. Racki says:

    @oilersinsider: yah, I saw your post right after submitting mine and lol'd. Get out of my brain ;) Seriously though, the GP stood out to me. I really, really hope that Visnovsky plays a full season this year, as well as Souray. I think now that management wised up and brought in some tough guys to protect the team, we won't see record breaking man-games lost anymore. Injuries will always occur, but not as much now, I don't think.

  6. raventalon40 says:

    If Visnovsky plays a full season we just might squeak into the playoffs.

  7. Lowetide says:

    I do think Peckham will play the other 37 games or so, and may do an RE at some point for him. However, it doesn't really change the outcome in terms of the math and I wanted to stick with 14F, 7D and 3G as the format.

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    I don't understand why your projections are so low.


  9. ian says:

    I don't understand why this post is 8 comments in and nobody has asked who the picture is of.
    Is it a young Sharon Stone?

  10. bookie says:

    I don't understand why this post is 8 comments in and nobody has asked who the picture is of.
    Is it a young Sharon Stone?

    Ever watch 30 Rock?

  11. oilerdiehard says:

    It will be interesting to see how Tom Renney runs D corps in game with match ups etc… He definitely seems like a big match guy, so it will be interesting, to see how manages their minutes.

    LT by the way in case you had no heard that. Prendergast said it in the interview (up on the JAG site the other day) with Gregor just after the Smid signing. He said Renney would be running the D.

  12. George B says:

    A very good blueline for sure. If they could turn one of the blueliners into a great top 6 forward, everything would be made for kissing.

  13. robert cleave says:

    255 GF would have been good enough for 9th, 7th, 3rd, and 7th in team scoring since the lockout. You really think they're at that level?

  14. uni says:

    Ian: try hovering your mouse cursor over the images or clicking on it, Lowetide usually uses descriptive names for his images.

    Rosellini is a heck of an example of just awesome genetics. Her mother was Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca etc.). Interestingly enough Isabella apparently has a twin sister who went the academic route.

    Injuries are a major concern. I'm just hoping that Souray and Vishnovsky can start stringing together some full seasons like Rob Blake started doing. If I recall he had injury issues as well till he started a nice run of 70+ games a season near the end of the 90s.

  15. Coach pb9617 says:

    I don't understand why this post is 8 comments in and nobody has asked who the picture is of.

    The old fellas in here already knew. Hell, I think MC79 dated her in the 70s.

    LT by the way in case you had no heard that. Prendergast said it in the interview (up on the JAG site the other day) with Gregor just after the Smid signing. He said Renney would be running the D.

    As I said in the Staios RE post, it's going to pay off for Staios and Souray. Renney likes a 5 d rotation on the PK.

  16. LMHF#1 says:

    I will be abundantly frustrated if Theo Peckham is not on this hockey team because they'd like Jason Strudwick to tell jokes and serve popcorn.

    He deserves it, he's ready, and he's unique from the other defencemen while bringing some skill to the table. I really hope he shows well at camp.

  17. Smytty777 says:

    LMHF: I don't think Strudwick's role is what you want for Peckham. You want Peckham playing a ton in the AHL or playing soft minutes in the NHL. Not in the pressbox.

    The real question is whether or not Peckham can fill in for Staios? I would think the answer at this point is likely no.

    Let Strudwick play 45 games as the 6th d-man/12th forward, get in 6 fights and crack jokes, he is the ideal man for that job description.

  18. raventalon40 says:


    Peckham can't play Staios' role but I'm convinced that Smid can.

  19. LMHF#1 says:

    I don't mind Peckham being in the pressbox some. I'm from the "better in the NHL" development theory. I think there's value in a guy being in the environment.

    This is all of course dependent on him proving himself and having a good camp; but do we even have to debate whether he's already better than Jason Strudwick?

  20. Travis Dakin says:

    There's just no need to rush Peckham. Let him dominate the AHL. Do like the wings and let the kids find their way down there. Smid is still developing and that's about all they can afford to have right now.

  21. Oilmaniac says:

    Seems like the only conservation estimation wrt vish is the games played.. seems like it would be likely that his production will be down based upon him coming back from injury…

    Horc had a hard time coming back from the shoulder, vish could forseeably struggle too?! guess we'll see…

  22. Black Dog says:

    coachpb – poor Ty, he's barely out of his 20s you know

    Rossellini was such a beauty back in the day. Also if you want to get a laugh check out her films on the sex life of bugs. Completely bizarre and very very funny.

    Carry on.

  23. Bruce says:

    Horc had a hard time coming back from the shoulder, vish could forseeably struggle too?! guess we'll see…

    Souray was rebounding from shoulder surgery too and didn't appear to have a lot of trouble. I guess it varies from one individual (and surgery) to the next.

  24. spOILer says:

    Re: Isabella

    I think LT's point is that the Oilers' Blue is pure Velvet, hence Isabella Rosellini.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the Oilers show is being run by amyl-nitrate-sucking Frank Booth in a Lynchian nightmare.

  25. Oilmaniac says:

    Good counter point bruce..

  26. Gord says:

    The best thing for Peckham's development (& us Oiler fans) is for him to start the season playing tons of minutes in the AHL.

    He had his 15 game audition last season (14 of those games in February / March / April) and his minutes increased as the season progressed.

    He has had the summer off to digest what he needs to do to improve – so give him tons of ice time to get better.

    If injuries force him to play in the NHL early in the season, I can live with that. But my preference is for him to be ready to step in full time without hurting the team sometime after Christmas.

    And if perchance we avoid the injury bug, in early January we trade Staios or Strudwick to a team that is decimated by injuries… ;-)

  27. Mr DeBakey says:

    The Rangers are in deep Cap doo-doo. I've been reading some of their blogs today:

    - The Rangers also lack that tough blueliner to help play in the harder areas. Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are solid players, but they need some help.

    - We are hearing that talks between Dubinsky's agent and the Ranger's front office have pretty much broken down. The two sides are far apart on a multi year deal for the young hard-working centerman.

    - Lundqvist appears to be getting worse each year….Hank has been worn down by ex-coach Tom Renny's style, the Rangers defensive troubles, and simple over-use.

    - The Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL) made a little announcement today. They signed a veteran Left …Mike York.

    York was part of the "FLY" line in New York, teamed with Eric Lindros and the recently mentioned Theo Fleury. And Mike was also famous for the way he left the Rangers – he was traded for (get ready to boo) Tom Poti, who was much maligned here (and rightly so).

    - Betts is the classic special teams hero. He quietly made sure that the Rangers could get though countless man-down situations without giving up a goal. He was a perfect team player – nothing flashy – just get the job done – keep the opponents off the scoreboard and keep us in the hockey games – one shorthanded shift at a time. That was a huge part of any success we managed to have last year.

    So someone please tell me: Why hasn't someone grabbed this bargain-priced, team-first, hard-working, penalty-killing dynamo? Because honestly – I don't get it.

    - So a player who seemed to have the talent, but lacked the heart is gone after one disappointing year under the tutelage of two different style coaches. Neither the slumbering coach clueless or the firebrand Tortorella could get Nicolai Zherdev out of his lackluster play. So another Stealth GM experiment has gone awry

  28. Jonathan Willis says:

    Tom Benjamin floated an idea back when the Canucks signed Andrew Raycroft – that Raycroft would sit on the bench 70 games a year, and when it came time to give Luongo a break, he'd get sent to the minors on a conditioning stint or somesuch and Schneider would get the NHL game. That way Schneider develops in both the AHL and NHL, and the Canucks have a cheap benchwarmer who would be better than a shooter tutor for practice and relief.

    I love the idea, and I'd like to see it used for Peckham/Strudwick. Strudwick can be the seventh man and fill in for day-to-day injuries; longer injuries would see Peckham leapfrog him into the lineup.

    Not that I think it will happen, but I like the idea.

  29. Peeeete. says:

    spOIler: awesome. "Now it's dark…"

    The whole management team should maybe lay off the Blue Ribbon.

  30. raventalon40 says:

    @ Mr DeBakey

    If Dubinsky is even remotely available and my name was Steve Tambellini I would be making a play for him RIGHT NOW.

  31. grant says:

    - Lundqvist appears to be getting worse each year….Hank has been worn down by ex-coach Tom Renny's style, the Rangers defensive troubles, and simple over-use.

    Does anyone care to explain what the bolded text means?

  32. bookie says:

    Tom Renney makes his players carry dead oxen around on their backs 24/7 other than durring games. He also requires that they only eat Jello.

  33. Alice says:

    That would be Lime Jello, in case any of you twerps think you can handle the oxen part of the deal.

  34. uni says:

    I still don't believe that New York gave up 2 fine defensemen for essentially 1 year of Zherdev. Tyutin is an excellent young defender, and Backman (albeit injury plagued) isn't chopped liver either. Wouldn't the two of them look very good on the blueline with Staal, Girardi, and Rozival instead of Redden at 6+ million per year?

    How Sather keeps his job sometimes baffles me. Then he goes out and manages to not only dump 7.5 million dollars in salary, but to also pick up a useful player in Higgins and a damn fine prospect on defense as well. Too bad he spent all that money as fast as he freed it up and Redden is still anchoring them down.

    I would rank the Ballard and Boynton trade for Jokinen as quite bad as well, although not at the Zherdev level, of weakening your D for magic beans save for the fact that Phoenix got a decent return from Calgary for Olli.

    Here's hoping I never have to read about the Oilers deal of Gilbert/Grebeskov and Smid for a season or two of a Jokinen or Zherdev type.

  35. raventalon40 says:

    Zherdev can be had for just over 3 million, which is a relative bargain considering his production and stats.

  36. grant says:

    He also requires that they only eat Jello.

    I see nothing wrong with this.

  37. raventalon40 says:

    I see nothing wrong with this.

    My thought as well.

  38. Master Lok says:

    Believe it or not LT, I once worked with a guy who had dinner with Isabella. He became the producer of Arrested Development…

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