Quality Farm Products

A quick glance at the current Oilers roster tells us that the parent club is borrowing a significant number of Springfield’s roster players from one year ago. Ryan Stone played 77 AHL games a year ago, Taylor Chorney 68, Gilbert Brule 39, JF Jacques 8, JDD 5.

The current Falcons are supposed to be a better, more competitive team than the one that got beaten about the face and hands pretty much every night last winter. They have more minor league veterans (Minard, Potulny, Linglet, Fretter up front and Armstrong, Arsene and Taylor on the blue among others) and despite starting 2-3 (pretty much the same as a year ago) the team looks more competitive this year.

The question for us (in the words of George Bush) “is our children learning?” The veteran AHLers are supposed to do the heavy lifting until the kids can swim, but the Oilers do have some quality players in Springfield this season.

  • D Theo Peckham (3gp, 0-1-1 +3). Missed the first couple of games due to an injury that robbed him of training camp, Peckham has hit the ground running and leads the Falcons in plus minus. Chorney’s strong showing may mean he won’t get a recall this season, but the Edmonton Oilers have a quality prospect here and sooner or later he’ll be in the show.
  • R Colin McDonald (5gp, 2-1-3 -2). Started well offensively last season too (4gp, 1-2-3) but he seems to be shooting a little more this season. The odds are against him, but McDonald has size and a plus shot so is a player of interest moving forward.
  • C Ryan O’Marra (5gp, 1-2-3 -4). Tied for the worst plus minus on the team, he seems to be playing with McDonald a bit and that might be the checking line this season (Kip Brennan was the LW last night).
  • C Geoff Paukovich (5gp, 2-0-2 +2). Played on the 4line last night, which may mean he’s playing against the soft parade. Results are good so far, especially considering he didn’t score his second goal last season until after Valentine’s day.
  • L Liam Reddox (4gp, 1-1-2 -1). Apparently missed a game due to suspension. Reddox is kind of the forgotten man in the organization so far this fall, but remains a player with some NHL experience and could get the call should injuries hit the NHL wingers.
  • L Bryan Lerg (1gp, 0-1-1 +1). In a bit of trouble as an NHL prospect. We know this because his only game action came because of the Reddox suspension. Played on the 4line but did get a point. I’d say there’s very little chance the Oilers re-sign him.
  • D Johan Motin (4gp, 0-1-1 +1). Listed on the third pairing with veteran Chris Armstrong last night, Motin has played well based on reports but we should assume that he’s playing softer opposition.
  • D Alex Plante (4gp, 0-0-0, -2). Played with Peckham last night, I’d think his plus minus will improve if that continues. Both Motin and Plante seem to be in about the same slot on the depth chart, this will be an interesting race this winter.
  • G Devan Dubnyk (5gp, 2-3-0 4.09 .897). Boxcars aren’t pretty, and the current Falcons are supposed to better than the team from a year ago. However, last season’s GF-GA after 5 games (16-17) and shots for/against totals from 08-09 (128-171) compare well against this year’s model (17-20 and 147-196). Interesting numbers based on the prevailing wisdom re: the team being better, but it’s early and there’s a lot of season to come.
  • L Slava Trukhno (5gp, 0-0-0 -1). He’s not playing well based on the numbers, and this despite getting some good opportunities (he played, or at least was listed on, the Potulny-Fretter line last night). The Oilers like his talent, and math loved him in junior, plus he always looked like one of the good ones in training camp each fall. However, we’re getting to the end of the entry level deal and no spark has ignited. If he continues to post zero’s, could we see another Hrabal/Mikhnov mid-season flight to the Motherland?

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58 Responses to "Quality Farm Products"

  1. Schitzo says:

    I think that if this Souray and Staios thing drags out much longer the org is going to have to give Peckham some serious thought. Our defence is not exactly crusty right now.

  2. QCoilers says:

    Also, Cody Wild as been an HS since the beginning of the season

  3. Lowetide says:

    QC: One of the things I'd like to know from the Oilers organization is how wide the gap between Chorney and Wild?

    Math says they're similar, we know they took time to adjust to the physical style of the pro game.

    But why elevate Chorney and allow Wild to rot? It seems strange to me.

  4. Hockey Noob says:

    I get nervous when Strudwick's on the ice. Both Chicago and Minnesota seemed to figure out that icing the puck on Strudwick's side is a good thing.

  5. doritogrande says:

    The token shoutout to Ryan O'Marra, but you completely miss the work of Ryan Potulny? For shame.

    And as an aside, it appears that Johan Motin had an assist taken away from him. He's listed as 0-1-1, but his bio clearly states he scored his first AHL assist 10-4-09 at Providence. It was a shorthanded-assist to boot.

  6. Schitzo says:

    Both Chicago and Minnesota seemed to figure out that icing the puck on Strudwick's side is a good thing.

    Agreed, I think Peckham has the extra step that makes a forward think twice before doing that.
    And even if Peckham doesn't win the footrace, he's breathing down the forward's neck and can put him through the end glass.

  7. Gord says:

    re: Peckham… "sooner or later he'll be in the show"

    If the ankle injury has not slowed him down, my money is on sooner. I am still guessing that they clear bodies one way or another by January…

    Oilers need "crust" on the back end since there are too many smurfs waiting to be injured as Boorgaard tried to show last night…

  8. Mr DeBakey says:

    how wide the gap between Chorney and Wild

    According to KP
    Chorney is way ahead of Wild in
    "hockey sense"

    It looks like Wild has lost the collegians race to Chorney & Petry [the real find]

  9. HBomb says:

    If Peckham's 100% healthy, it's only a matter of time before they IR Staios and run out a 3rd pairing of Peckham/Chorney.

    It's chaos with Strudwick out there anyways, so why not?

    Ladislav Smid +8 through seven games….wow.

  10. Bookie says:

    "is our children learning"

    One of my favorite quotes EVER!

    I think we need to reflect back on a certain play last night. If I was not dreaming, I believe that Patty O'Sullivan HIT Boogaard in front of the opposition net, took the puck away from him made some nice moves and ended up passing the puck over for a goal.

    If I didn't dream that, it deserves another shout out for its awesomeness.

  11. Hockey Noob says:

    Bookie, if that was a dream, then I had the same one. For the ever snake-bitten O'Sullivan, that was one a hell of a play. Let's not forget that Boogard didn't take to kindly too it either. With 2 minutes left in the game, he flattened O'Sullivan with a late check.

    Speaking of dreaming and shout outs… Was I dreaming last night or did Dustin Penner light the fuse at the Oilers goal line and launch down the left wing all the way to the opposition blue line? When the "18 wheeler" gets rolling, he sure picks up some good speed.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Bookie:

    The Irish generally don't care how big you are.

    The play was certainly the "OTC Smuckers play of the night"

    "Vivian Wozeteski of Vegreville wins a case of assorted jams and crusts, courtesy of our friends at Safeway"

  13. oilerdago says:

    HBomb: I like the idea of putting Staois on IR and bringing up Peckham too.

    Also wouldn't mind calling Peckham up and just waiving Struds. The guy says the right things but against the better teams, he's a disaster waiting to happen.

    These are valuable at bats for Chorney, but I think he's better served playing more in the AHL this season and Peckham getting the at bats. Besides, next year Pekcham is going to be in the show anyway (he'd have to clear waivers) so why not give him the chance?

  14. Dennis says:

    That was a terrible attempted knee by Booregaard in the waining min of last night's game. That's just the kind of play that could wreck a guy's season and the intent was obvious.

    Regarding 41, I'm not sure how many good games he'd have to play in a row before the Oilers began to re-think 43 as the 7th D. Maybe he'd have to play a lot or maybe they wouldn't even consider going that young on the backened but if both 24-44 are out for another 5-7 games or so, 41's gonna get a decent look to show he belongs. And once one of those guys do come back, I'm betting 41 stays in and 43 comes out.

    Not sure how this effects Peckham but 43 could be on the way out.

  15. Ducey says:

    I heard Daum on the radio the other day and he said Ryan O'Marra was a pleasant surprise. It sounded like he has finally accepted a checking/3rd line centre role.

    I don't think Daum was blowing smoke as he had just described O'Marra as "completely useless" last season – as harsh an assessment I have ever heard a coach give one of his current players.

  16. BRIdub says:

    Although Strudwick is a disaster defensively which no one will argue, he does do lots of savvy veteran things that Peckham will learn and maybe does but certainly not Chorney.

    As an example, after the boarding penalty against minnesota last night when Brule started the scrum, Strudwick raced from his own blueline straight to Boogaard before he could get in on the Oilers smaller guys. Just the kind of little thing that makes your teammates love you.

  17. Bookie says:

    As of today, the Oilers are 10th in faceoffs and 17th in PK. We have played a range of teams in terms of these stats (PP & FO).

    1. Can we assume the faceoff problem has been somewhat addressed? If so, is it in part because of better support from other players?

    2. Is the PK now mediocre as opposed to terrible?

  18. mjsh says:

    LT. be interesting to see your mid year top 20 prospects. I think the Oil actually have some players in the system now. IMO there are lot of quality 18-25 players the Oilers own. Only problem is that there are no Crosby's or Ovechins. This could very well be a team of 4 second lines for a long time unless some trades are made.

    On the Strudwick issue, I say keep him. He is not very talented but has a lot of try and IS useful for a few games a year.

    I was a fan of the Heatly trade but now it just might be one of those deals that did not happen that the Oil are glad did not happen. Just like the guy in Washington, Nylander.

  19. spOILer says:

    Before Chorney was called up, it looked like Motin and Plante were being platooned in the spot next to Peckham. Small sample size to go off though to know for sure.

  20. Phil says:

    It's exciting to look at the depth chart and see that 5 years from now, this team could be icing a lineup of Dmen that is entirely home-grown, and would contain a whole lot of everything.

    There are both puck movers and stay at homers, good (but not great) size, and all are at least very good skaters. There is even some (dare I say) crustivity there; obviously Peckham leading that department, with Smid drying out, and if Plante makes it, he's got a lot of beef to throw around.

    I temper myself all the time, because I realize that it's natural for a fan to over-value his team's prospects, but still. Lots to be excited about.

    Regarding the O'Sullivan play last night – it was trully a spectacular play, especially considering he was late getting up the ice because he'd just been popped by Boogaard.

    And the pass he made – it looked like he was just throwing it towards the net, but if he indeed was trying to hit Penner, then it would be one of the best setups I've seen in a long time.

  21. Rob Gilgan says:

    LT: How do you define 'soft parade'?

  22. Lowetide says:

    Rob: Softer opposition. Jonathan Willis has been doing some exceptional work on the subject of toughness of opposition in the AHL, he did terrific stuff a year ago and we hope he will again this year.

    So, easy opponents. Rookies v. rookies. The soft paraed on Springfield would be a Plante-Motin pairing right now, or a forward group featuring Paukovich-Lerg-MacMurchy.

    If you're playing Springfield and the coach sends you out against them, you're facing the soft parade.

  23. Rob Gilgan says:

    Much obliged.

  24. Lowetide says:

    No worries. Some stunning photos on your blog (especially liked the Impala's), I've always wanted to visit that part of the world.

  25. spOILer says:

    Regarding the O'Sullivan play last night – it was trully a spectacular play, especially considering he was late getting up the ice because he'd just been popped by Boogaard.

    Phil, Bustin Dustin called it an "elite" pass, last night in his post-game interview.

    For some reason the same AP news report had Souray and Staios both out with the flu.

    OTC Quint's Quote o' the day:

    "I really like his [Penner's] skills. We've got lots of those guys, but not all of them are playing well. It's like giving me a carpenter bag and I can have all the tools, but I wouldn't know how to put a fence up," said Quinn.

    As for the Farm, they gots to stay out of Jail. More growin, less mowin.

  26. Gerta Rauss says:

    I wonder if Chorney is getting the look because the Org wanted to see first hand what they've got in terms of puck moving D in the pipeline.

    They know what Peckham brings.

    A precursor to a trade of 1 of our top 4 D perhaps?

    NBT

  27. Coach pb9617 says:

    1. Can we assume the faceoff problem has been somewhat addressed? If so, is it in part because of better support from other players?

    Nope. Horcoff is taking 42% of the draws. That's not fixing the problem, that's killing Horcoff, like most of us thought he would have to do.

    IMO there are lot of quality 18-25 players the Oilers own. Only problem is that there are no Crosby's or Ovechins.

    Who in the world has a Crosby or Ovechin [sic] in their system?!

    But why elevate Chorney and allow Wild to rot? It seems strange to me.

    Rather see him in Stockton than a HS.

  28. PDO says:

    Two things:

    #1) Has anyone here ever replaced the plug on the end of their block heater? Mine fell off and I have some questions now that I've stripped it down a bit…

    #2) Where can we find players SF/SA, EV SH%, etc, this season? The timeonice link isn't working…

  29. doritogrande says:

    It's exciting to look at the depth chart and see that 5 years from now, this team could be icing a lineup of Dmen that is entirely home-grown, and would contain a whole lot of everything.

    I'm curious what your depth chart would look like.

    Gilbert was a Colorado draft pick
    Grebeshkov was LA
    Smid a Ducks pick

  30. doritogrande says:

    I really, REALLY don't want to jinx this, but Petry's tied for 3rd in conference scoring after 3 games.

    1-4-5.

    Couple of fellow Spartans are 1 and 2 in conference scoring. Maybe Michigan State (and Petry) will have a bounce-back season.

  31. Woodguy says:

    1. Can we assume the faceoff problem has been somewhat addressed? If so, is it in part because of better support from other players?

    Nope. Horcoff is taking 42% of the draws. That's not fixing the problem, that's killing Horcoff, like most of us thought he would have to do.

    Coach,

    As per your excellent article on outscorers.

    Stephen Weiss in on a 3.1M/yr contract that runs until the end of the 12/13 season.

    Martin Hanzel is at $980K, but a RFA at the end of this year.

    Colby Armstrong is 2.4M, but a UFA at the end of the year.

    Trading for a UFA in his last year is a different kettle of fish, but in regards to Hanzel and Weiss, how do you get them?

    You obviously have to trade one of Cogliano/Gagner. What else do you package with them to get one of these guys?

    How available are they?

    Are guys like these on TambLowe's radar or do these bucks not have enough points to make the trophy case?

  32. doritogrande says:

    And, now that I check the rest, Kyle Bigos has his first NCAA point. A powerplay assist in yesterday's 3-1 win over Holy Cross of Hockey East.

    How poor is that team that Bigos gets powerplay time?

  33. Lowetide says:

    dorito: I read somewhere that Bigos has a big shot from the point on the PP.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Ooops.

    Armstrong is RW.

    Should have been Todd White, who is outscoring toughs so far this year (go ahead, belittle my sample size), and is at 2.375 until the end of 10/11.

  35. Bar Qu says:

    Also wouldn't mind calling Peckham up and just waiving Struds. The guy says the right things but against the better teams, he's a disaster waiting to happen.

    (Not picking on this quote in particular, but using it as an example of the general discussion)

    Strudwick is a pretty useful guy for 30-40 games a year. We all saw how dependable he was in his first two or three games in (making good decisions, hitting and the occasional non-defensive play) but when he starts going more games in a row than that, then his defensive deficiencies increase.

    Imo, having him as the PB player, to draw in as an occasional 7D makes good sense. He gives some veteran back-up/semi-reliability, is good in the room (important if we believe the room rumours of last year) and is cheap.

    Plus, there is the downside of waiving a guy like him and then discovering the immutable Law of Rookie Defensive Development kicking in as the veterans go down (inevitably as this season has shown). I mean, its only this year that Smid with all his promise has not been a hot-cold player defensively. The Oil could expect the same from a Peckham, Motin or Chorney too. Bring 'em along gradually and let Struds fill the holes from time to time.

  36. Phil says:

    Gilbert was a Colorado draft pick
    Grebeshkov was LA
    Smid a Ducks pick

    I realize this, but I don't think you could argue that these players weren't completely developed by the Oilers. NHL games with teams other than the Oilers:

    Gilbert = 0
    Grebeshkov = 33 (12 with LA and 21 with NYI, at which point they gave up on him)
    Smid = 0

    So maybe not Grebs to a certain extent, but for the most part I'd say this is homegrown talent. Especially Smid – the team has suffered through 3 full seasons of growing pains to finally see some payoff.

  37. Steve says:

    Strudwick's tied for third in team scoring among defensemen; you're all mad.

    Boxcars! Boxcars! Rah! Rah! Rah!

  38. doritogrande says:

    Professional hockey games with teams other than the Oilers:

    Gilbert: 0
    Grebeshkov:321
    Smid: 167

    I, unlike most, credit the Euro leagues and AHL for development.

    You don't develop in the NHL. You ply your trade. Development (like in school) is done in the lower leagues (RE: Universities, trade school).

  39. Lowetide says:

    Agree with Dorito. It's a massive stretch for any of the three, but Grebeshkov and Smid are off the rails in terms of claiming any credit for their development pre-NHL career.

  40. Schitzo says:

    PDO – I have, let me know if you need help.

    Email is mwharris and it's a ualberta.ca email account.

    But I'll warn you in advance, it was ghetto.

  41. Bar Qu says:

    Ethical problem here: my 5-year old son son loves the colour blue (uses it all the time, chooses things that are blue, etc.), and so now with the hockey game on, he is cheering for the Maple Leafs, despite my explaining in 5-year old terms that they are the worst choice possible. Do I send him to bed? Or devise other punishments.

    A pickle worthy of Larry T. Cuke to be sure.

  42. Lowetide says:

    Tell him the Rangers have wonderful Blue uniforms too, but bad old Toronto won't let them wear the nice uniforms because they're mean.

  43. Bar Qu says:

    Actually the problem solved itself. He started to see the highlights of how outplayed TO was (even a 5-year old can see it!) and his competitive nature took over. He wanted to cheer a winner! *proud papa face*

  44. Schitzo says:

    PDO – no sign of the email as of yet. Re-send?

  45. PDO says:

    Schitzo, hit me up with bak47 at hotmail dot com and I'll respond.

  46. Councilman Les Winan says:

    So does Vancouver have to bring in their anthem singer with a crane, or do they just bring him through a big shipping entrance with a forklift?

    ;-)

  47. Councilman Les Winan says:

    Back on topic, your comment about Trukhno is interesting, LT. One thing that I think makes it slightly less likely is that he's been playing hockey over here for several years (in the Q before a couple of seasons in the AHL). Both Hrabal and Mikhnov played all their hockey overseas before their adventures in the AHL.

    That being said, he hasn't gained a whole lot of traction in the A, has he?

  48. Alice says:

    Bar qu
    Worse, my son is not 5, but 15 – and he cheers for the leafs On Purpose. Need to write that punk outta the will.

  49. Phil says:

    You don't develop in the NHL. You ply your trade.

    I have to disagree with this statement. In a perfect world, this would be the case. In the real world, especially the Oilers world of recent memory, a lot of development has come from giving young people NHL minutes when they could've been better served playing in the minors.

    Matt Greene, Smid, Reddox, are all obvious examples of this, and there are plenty more that could've gone either way. LT often describes this team as not having enough 'actual NHLers'. It's not that the players on the roster won't some day be actual NHLers. They just need time to develop. At the NHL level.

  50. PDO says:

    "And the Boston Bruins are proud to select, with the first overall pick, Taylor Hall….."

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  51. Woodguy says:

    Wow.

    Single worst ump call I can remember seeing just happened in the Angels/Yanks game.

    Angles turn what should be their 5th DP of the game in the 10th and the 2nd base umpire calls safe at second because the SS didn't actually touch the bag (was a few inches off)

    I cannot remember ever seeing that call even when the SS or 2B has clear daylight around the bag in the regular season, let alone a couple of inches in the 10th of an ALCS.

    I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I'd check that ump's bank account for unusual deposits.

  52. Phil says:

    It's a massive stretch for any of the three, but Grebeshkov and Smid are off the rails in terms of claiming any credit for their development pre-NHL career.

    I agree with this, but they were all still prospects when they joined the Oilers, Grebs maybe a bit more than a prospect, but barely NHL ready.

    I guess we can agree to disagree on this. My use of the term 'homegrown' in this case is probably the issue.

    The way I see it, there are two types of players – ones that a team acquires that aren't NHL ready, and ones that are.

    If a team takes a risk on a player who isn't NHL ready (whether they draft him, or acquire him from someone else), and give him big league minutes and let him make mistakes until he learns how to play at the NHL level, are they not developing that player?

    I mean, c'mon guys. It wasn't that long ago that we were holding our collective breath every time Grebs stepped on the ice, and we had all but written Smid off. Can't we give the Oilers a bit of credit for taking the risks on these players?

  53. geowal says:

    Well Lt, seeing this list would make me depressed if I didn't know we had forwards working away outside the Falcons organization.

    I see 3 Dmen of interest (Peckham, Plante, Motin), an interesting but unknown quantity of a goalie, and a bunch of forwards who'd need a pound of sugar to be vanilla.

    I think we're lucky MPS fell in the draft and we didn't draft another defensemen.

  54. stubby says:

    Woodguy,
    I thought it was a good call. I know your thinking proximity play to the bag, but the middle infielder has his foot on the bag at some point in the play. Aybar wasn't even close. Angels look uncomfortable.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Stubby,

    By the letter of the law you are correct. The problem is that the 2B ump wasn't calling it like that all game.

    Its like the refs letting clutching and grabbing going all game during the conference final, then calling a guy in overtime for a minor stick foul.

    Angels had lots of opportunity to win this one and didn't though. Vlad had two big outs in extras with RISP. I think he left 10 on base all game.

    Also,

    Shitzo said in post 1

    I think that if this Souray and Staios thing drags out much longer the org is going to have to give Peckham some serious thought. Our defence is not exactly crusty right now.

    From the Edmonton Sun:

    It appears the Edmonton Oilers will have to do without Sheldon Souray longer than they hoped or expected.

    Initially diagnosed with a mild concussion after Jarome Iglina tripped him into the end boards in the third game of the season Oct. 8, Souray doesn't appear even close to coming back.

    And

    Steve Staios, also down with a concussion, is in the same boat, unable yet to even practice with the team.

    Yikes.

    With Peckham missing all of TC, I hope they were just leaving Peckham down on the farm to get in game shape before calling him up. As good as Chorney is playing, they need a Peckham type more.

    They could sure use him now.

    Upgrade over Strudwick in my opinion.

    Not sure if TambLowe would be ok with Chorney and Peckham playing and Strudwick in the PB in terms of optics, regardless of whether or not its the right move.

    No question that Peckham is a Quinn type player. Once he sees him, he'll probably stick.

  56. doritogrande says:

    Dub prospects had a solid showing last night.

    Eberle: 2-1-3; 4-1 win
    Rajala: 1-2-3; 8-3 win
    Abney: 1-0-1 +1 5PIM, 5-4 win. Has the tying goal.

    Eberle's tied for 8th in league scoring, tied for 2nd in goals.

    Great news on Abney is that he's one point shy of marking last year's totals.

  57. stubby says:

    Woodguy,
    I agree with you, but Aybar needs to be closer, I don't think he gave the ump much to work with. At least try to kick the corner of the bag.
    Vladdy, one of the last great Expos and one of my favs, but they need to put Abreu, Morales, Hunter 3-4-5 and move Vladdy down the line-up or give him a break. Vladdy doesn't turn the fastball around that well anymore, unless it's down the pipe (haha Paplebon). Maybe the warm weather will warm them up. The baseball has been good to watch so far.

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