One thing that came out of the Sunday discussion (below) is that most of us aren’t content with the blue moving forward. I identified “up the middle” as being important and focused on center over the summer, but as many or more of you felt the team needed help along the blue in a big way moving forward.
I’ve never really known what a “1D’ or a “#5D” is, although obviously Chara is one and Staios is another. But what do teams do when Chara isn’t on their team? Who plays those tough minutes? Which Oiler defender under 27 do we agree can play top 2 minutes (whatever they are)?
I don’t think we’ll get too much agreement on that issue. The Oilers have Ladislav Smid on the parent roster and then a large group of “bubbling unders” that include Theo Peckham, Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry, Alex Plante and Johan Motin. Remember defenseman have all kinds of barriers to break through, including getting enough experience before injuries start to take their toll. Many an Oiler prospect has seen his career fade away due to injuries along the minor league trail (Mathieu Roy is a comedic–if still out there trying–example).
So, what do the Oilers do? Call upon their strengths and sign mid-level free agents? Yes, although as speeds points out that magic wand hasn’t been as successful in recent years. They can also utilize free agents from the CHL (MA Bergeron arrived that way) and college and there are no doubt men playing in strong European leagues who can help out here.
The Oilers can do some things this summer to help out the current pro prospects. I think they can help the AHL players by signing some of those minor league veterans to teach the tools of the trade and they can help the current NHL youngsters by bringing in experienced hands who can fill in adequately until the kids develop (or don’t and are replaced by new kids).
And this my friends is your Jason Strudwick “Ventilator Blues” post. I’m not really interested in Strudwick’s Corsi and Ms. Fenn is much easier on the eyes. Why is this post called Twin Peaks?
You’re kidding. Right?