When it comes to arguing the Oilers blue, I think the entire group bought into the signature line from this young woman: resistance is futile. The Oilers led the league in GA this season (about 50 above the average) and turned over an enormous percentage of their blueline at or around the deadline.
Gone are Denis Grebeshkov, Steve Staios and Lubomir Visnovsky. The Oilers will try to move another contract (Sheldon Souray) this summer, leaving them with two actual NHL defenseman (Gilbert and Whitney) and a guy who has played in the show long enough that it is reasonable to count on him (Smid).
Souray’s contract (5.4M times 2 years) might be easier to move because of two recent news items: Sather will apparently be back in NYC and the salary cap could increase by 2M in 2010-11.
Bubbling under are a bunch of not ready for prime time players like Taylor Chorney, Theo Peckham (who might be ready in a support role) and Alex Plante.
Bottom line: while we’re talking about the draft and rambling on about the kids, we should say a little prayer to the hockey Gods. Steve Tambellini needs to bring in some help on the blue this summer. There are some nice mid-range free agents available. There’s also Europe and some AHL veterans who might be able to help.
Can we agree that the Taylor Chorney-Bryan Young-Danny Syvret “hey we have a lotta defensemen in the AHL” plan doesn’t work? I think the Oilers could use three mid-level free agents at the major and minor league levels this summer. EACH!
NOTE: GDT for the SCF G1 is below.