The Oilers have called up Theo Peckham from Springfield (AHL). Peckham has played well after missing all of training camp with an ankle problem. Peckham’s injury meant the Oilers had fewer decisions to make this fall along the blue, but his callup (and the performance of Taylor Chorney) today may signal the beginning of the process that allows Peckham to establish himself in the NHL.
The depth chart has a “hard 4″ at the top (Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert, Grebeshkov) along with 2 established players (Staios & Smid) at opposite ends of productive careers. The 7-slot belongs to Jason Strudwick at this point and he’s exactly the player-type who keeps that job over youth because there’s often a lot of sitting involved for said player.
The opportunity for Chorney and Peckham comes both in injuries to front line (top 6D) men and later in the year when trades come available. Dennis and Pat (and now Asia) have been talking about the makeup of the Oilers after this season and pretty much everyone agrees an offensive defender making real money is heading out of town.
Chorney and Peckham are the latest blueline draft prospects for a club that usually has more success trading for help than developing it. Recent draftees include Matt Greene, Alexei Semenov, Danny Syvret and Mathieu Roy, but the Oilers have traded for Tom Gilbert, Denis Grebeshkov, Jan Hejda and others in that time. During the Kevin Lowe regime the team has also had success signing undrafted free agents like MA Bergeron.
Oiler fans are looking forward to getting Pat Quinn’s reaction to Peckham, a player whose style is comparable to the OTC’s playing style many years ago.