RE 10-11: Jim Vandermeer

Jim Vandermeer played his junior just down the road in Red Deer (WHL). He was a Rebel at the same time as Oiler draft Doug Lynch and future Oiler prospect Jeff Woywitka around the turn of the century. Vandermeer was never drafted (signed by the Flyers at age 20) but he had a career and those other guys were either derailed or are still trying to make the grade.

•Boxcars: 62gp, 4-8-12
•Shots: 64
•Plus Minus: +3
•Corsi (Rel): 0.2 (5th among PHX D’s)
•GF/GA ON: 34-32
•5×5/60: 0.65 (5th among PHX D’s)
•5×4/60: nil
•Quality of Competition: 5th toughest among PHX D’s
•Quality of Teammates: 6th best among PHX D’s
•Cap Hit: $2,300,000 times 1 season

  1. What do these numbers tell us? Vandermeer played with and against the dregs last season and his numbers are solid if unspectacular. All of his stats are in lock step with his role on the team (5th best relCorsi while playing the 5th toughest minutes and with the 6D and 4th line alongside) so we can’t give too much credit or deliver any blame. He was an average 5-6D on a pretty good hockey club.
  2. How could these numbers be better? The Coyotes finished 29 goals to the good at EVs this past season and for the money ($2.3M) an NHL team should expect more of an impact from those dollars. Having said that, Vandermeer isn’t going to rip it up offensively and he delivered in the role asked of him.
  3. Anything else? Yes. Vandermeer was placed on waivers at the end of June, just before coming over to the Oilers. There’s a chance the Oilers could have acquired Vandermeer (or a like talent) through free agency for fewer dollars but the transaction with Phoenix allowed the team to offload Patrick O’Sullivan without buying him out.
  4. What can he do? He’s tough and gritty, will play a physical game and has the experience required to play the position with some consistency. He does get beaten wide at times, but that happens to 90% of the NHL’s defensemen since the rule changes allowed wingers to fly through the neutral zone without a governor. Vandermeer should be a considerable upgrade over Strudwick.
  5. What happened in Phoenix? The Coyotes added at the deadline. In fact, the club picked up Derek Morris and Mathieu Schneider at the deadline and Lepisto was the other guy it affected during that time.
  6. What about injuries? He has the usual maladies we see from defensemen. Seems to have bad luck in the ankle department but nothing in the last 12 months that suggests he’ll be a regular on the IR.
  7. How will he help the Oilers? He’s a solid veteran who can help on the penalty kill and also move up in case of injury. He’s also a guy the club could risk waivers on without doing damage to their future.
  8. Will he be here for a long time? Probably not. NHL teams often add a defender or two at the deadline and this fellow won’t cost much in terms of assets to acquire. Unless he comes in and really establishes himself, I’d bet on him being traded at the deadline if there’s a market for him. And there’s always a market for veteran defensemen.
  9. How important is he to the organization? He can have an impact in several areas. Aside from eating up minutes at even strength and the penalty-kill, he can also mentor kids like Peckham and Plante. The Oilers need more of these guys, not fewer.
  10. He sounds like Jason Strudwick. He’s a better player and five years younger, but yeah they’re similar talents.
Prediction for 2010-11: 60gp, 1-3-4
Veteran defender a welcome addition

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