It’s a wonder it took so long for Jim Vandermeer to be an Edmonton Oiler. He plays a physical style, hails from Caroline and played his junior in Red Deer with the Rebels. They could have drafted him in 2000, but went with Alexander Ljubimov (#83), Paul Flache (#152) and Jason Platt (#247) to shore up the depth chart on defense.
Vandermeer signed with the Flyers just before Christmas 2000, at a time when Oilers scouts would have been watching his teammate Doug Lynch (they would select Lynch early in the 2001 entry draft). Vandermeer has played 436 NHL games for Philadelphia, Chicago, Calgary, Phoenix and Edmonton. He’s been some places.
Jim Vandermeer 10-11
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.71 (2nd among Oil D)
- 5×4 points per 60: 4.50 (2nd among Oil D)
- Qual Comp: 3rd easiest among D
- Qual Team: 3rd best available among D
- Corsi Rel: 4.9 (2nd best among D)
- Zone Start: 50.1% (5th easiest among D)
- Zone Finish: 49.9% (7th best among D)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 57 shots/2 goals 3.5% (6th best)
- Boxcars: 62gp, 2-12-14
- Plus Minus: -15 on a team that was -52
- What do these numbers tell us? The Oilers used him in a defined role and he played well. Although he battled consistency for much of the schedule the final numbers are steady. Nice CorsiRel, decent return on the zone start and maybe a little puck luck here and there. Third pairing guy, providing some toughness and experience. This is what a 5-6D’s numbers should be.
- Except for the plus minus. No, that’s in the range of expectations. Doing the little exercise from earlier posts, Vandermeer played 970 minutes at evens and we should expect about -12.5 for those minutes on this team. So, a hair better and then we nick him a little for the soft parade.
- How could these numbers be better? They’re about right, I’d say. You can’t have too many of these guys because there are so many of these type of minutes to give out, but he seems like a reasonable mentor type and doesn’t take an enormous number of bad penalties.
- Will he be back? I think he will. If I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, the “out” door will see Gilbert and Smid leave and the “in” door has a new hire plus Jeff Petry. So, it might be Whitney-Petry; Peckham paired with the new hire who displays a nice range of skills (he won’t come cheap, I’m suggesting Gilbert + Smid here); Vandermeer-Foster and then Taylor Chorney.
- Why does he fit? Well, he can slide into the top 4 to replace Peckham as needed and he can also kill penalties. He doesn’t have the trade value of a Ladislav Smid, but he can do some of the things that Smid can do so there are a few items Vandermeer can cover off for the Oilers.
- Plus he’s a veteran. Right. He can do a Jason Strudwick and sit a spell without upsetting the apple cart, too.
- Who did he play with? Vandermeer spent a lot of time with Peckham and time with Foster.
- And THOSE are the guys you’re keeping? I wish the Oilers could keep Whitney, Gilbert, Smid, Petry and Peckham plus add that quality top 4 defender. But if you’re going to trade for that guy–and they don’t grow on trees–that player will take Gilbert, Smid and maybe more.
- What about Bieksa? He’s not coming here. The Oilers aren’t going to solve the blue problem via free agents getting 5 large. That would never happen.
- So Vandermeer is the top option on your free agent list? No. I’d love to see Ehrhoff or Bieksa or Steve Montador. They’re. not. coming. here.
- Your defense is depressing. Wait ’til you see the goalies.