G77 Stars at Oilers

After watching young defensemen make mistakes for what seems like a decade, a veteran hand like Nick Schultz is like a breath of fresh air. He always seems to be on right side of the play, has a penchant for directing the forwards wide and is all battle along the boards. I’m never going to agree he was full payment for Tom Gilbert, but Schultz can flat out play the position.

Do you remember the glory Oilers blue? They had Paul Coffey, who was so exciting to watch play the game. He was electrifying. Lowe was a tough defender, gave no quarter, Huddy could do a little of everything and Dr. Randy Gregg was big, strong and had surprising offensive acumen. Lee Fogolin was heart and soul, Don Jackson was meat. After that came Craig Muni and Steve Smith and Marty McSorley and a host of others, but I don’t recall a period during those years where Edmonton didn’t have 5 guys they could count on and about three waiting in the wings.

I think next season really does depend on two things: the calibre of defenseman (or defensemen) acquired to add to the group that will no doubt include Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Nick Schultz, Ryan Whitney and Andy Sutton.

And the other item is Whitney’s health. If he can return to previous levels, that’s a tremendous plus for the organization. The youngsters should start showing up in AHL boxscores beginning this fall, hell maybe one or two gets a cup of coffee during the year. However, a healthy Ryan Whitney would go a long way to backing up the depth chart and forcing the kids into the AHL, ECHL and Europe for seasoning. Can Ryan Whitney return to previous levels? I don’t know. If the Oilers don’t cover for him on the NHL depth chart and he fails to perform at significant levels, we will probably see another finish deep in the second division.

Injuries are as much a part of the Oilers in this era as the draft or changing coaches. It’s a part of everyday life. Ryan Whitney’s recovery from injury is an enormous item in the 12-13 edition of the Oilers.

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62 Responses to "G77 Stars at Oilers"

  1. Ribs says:

    Man, why couldn’t they convince Minnesota to take Whitney instead of Gilbert. A Schultz-Gilbert pairing would look pretty similar to the Smid-Petry duo and would make for some very consistent play.

    I like Whitney but can’t help the feeling that he’s one wayward ice groove away from ending his career.

  2. Yeti says:

    Ribs: Man, why couldn’t they convince Minnesota to take Whitney instead of Gilbert.

    I can’t think of a single good reason. ;)

  3. Ducey says:

    I’m never going to agree he was full payment for Tom Gilbert, but Schultz can flat out play the position.

    Before the trade:

    Minni: 28-25-9
    Oilers: 25-31-6

    After the trade:

    Minni: 3-10-1
    Oilers: 6-5-3

    Probably just coincidental, but maybe not.

  4. Jordan says:

    You know, in some ways, I’m a little bit sad about how the era of the perpetual rebuild may be coming to an end shortly.

    While it’s clear to me that the hockey is guaranteed to be a hell of a lot better in the coming years (hell, it already is better!) games liek tonights are likely going to go the way of the Dodo.

    Tonight is a win-win night! If they win, it’s another feather in the cap for the team that has found some balance and is coming on strong at the end of the year. If they lose, it’s more points forfeited and likely a better draft pick in the summer.

    Tonight will be my first time seeing Mr. Schultz play in person, and my first time not seeing Gilbert in copper and blue in seasons… To be honest, I think the Oilers won that trade, but I really miss Tom’s wavy hair. It was always so pretty, just like his fine passes.

    I really like the idea of finding Whitney insurance as well, especially if it is a proven top 4 guy, and not the Barker redux. I like the idea of going after a mid-range defenseman like Coliaccavo or Wideman on a 1 year overpay – as long as he’s okay, he fills the role, and if the Oilers are out of running next spring he’s a free 2nd rounder.

    Good asset management – good team management.

  5. nathan says:

    Oilers probably get the 4th lottery pick, but just to ensure it doesn’t slip any more than that, I’m counting on Khabibulin mini-stick night. They have to play him tonight. Right? If management was even smarter the rest of the season would feature a Khabibulin giveaway (off-ice as well as on).

  6. gogliano says:

    Schultz is a really calm defender, great at making the simple plays in an efficient and effective manner. Hopefully Smid is taking notes–he is a nice model for Smid to emulate, I think.

    It’s a shame Schultz is the older player in the trade. If you reverse the ages of the two players I think the deal makes a ton of sense for the Oilers.

  7. gd says:

    If Whitney can even improve his skating 10% next year, I think he can be a solid second pair Dman. That 1st pass ability is so valuable and he seems to have a good rapport with the young guys. I especially like the fact he had such a prominent role on the Pittsburgh team that went from 58 pts to Stanley Cup Finals in two yrs.

  8. rickithebear says:

    LT:

    Gilbert without Smid:
    69 EV goals a Year
    Schultz without Smid:
    41 EV Goals a year
    The 28 less ev goals against more than pays for it.
    Most of a year of
    Smid-Petry
    XXX-Schultz
    Whitney-Klefbom
    Sutton- Potter

    STEADYED:
    your list of big forwars has 2 of the three i wanted. But has since gone down to 1

    Thomas hertl’s numbers in the czech league say he is a 65 to 70 point player at age 22.
    Scouting says he likes contact and does not mind the dirty areas.
    Most boards have him at #23

    Looking at H. Samuelson. he is a .9PPG player at even. Since he came over late in the season he is getting limited PP time. Usually total point production is 1/3 from pp. would expect him to be producing 1.35PPG w/ pp time. his numbers say 45EV at 22 with another 20 PP points. the young man is likely a 60-65 pT player @ 22.
    His three suspensions and physical play are the kind of nasty we could use.

    Jujhar Khaira 6’3″ 200lb Aug, 94: is playing in the BCHL. his 1.5PPG @ 17 equate to a .96ppg pace in the CHL. Right up there with Faksa, Gaunce.
    He has signed on to the Michigan Tech program so will have 2-3 years of play in a league 1.5 times harder than the CHL. Get a better measure of performance by age 20.
    Have seen him at the bottom of alot of top 100 lists. and as low as 106.

  9. Clay says:

    gogliano,

    Shultz is 4.5 months older than Gilbert. I’m not sure that this is a difference-maker.

  10. Clay says:

    And by “Shultz” I mean Schultz.

    doh.

  11. Denniss says:

    Ducey: I haven’t looked at the full list of teams the Oilers have played in the last 12 but I know there have been some EC tomato cans among the bunch.

    LT: I’m fine with 15, I must say. The min have gone up and I said earlier it was perhaps just getting his conditioning up to speed and that looks to be the case. Still, a lot easier to pick up Schultz types on the FA market than 77 types and that’s what I don’t like this trade from an organizational standpoint. It just keeps moving the chains and you have to make two moves to accomplish what you should have been trying to do with one

  12. bookje says:

    Since the trade, Gilbert has been tearing it up at Dustin Penner like levels in Minnesota. If the guys Tambellini trades away keep doing this, we might have to fire him because nobody will be willing to trade with the guy.

    More seriously, I like Gilbert a lot and am sure he will come on strong at some point (maybe he just needs to get used to the system), however I said the same thing about Dustin Penner (who I also liked a lot).

    Maybe Renney is just better at getting more out of guys than some other coaches?

    With that said, our Free Agent acquisitions are doing worse in Edmonton than they did previously.

  13. gd says:

    The Schultz trade might be the first piece of evidence that the Oilers might actually be ahead of the curve on some kind of analytics. It looks to me like they exploited Minnesota overvaluing home state guys, and maybe they’ve found teams are overvaluing TOI as a measurement.

    All I know I love what Schultz has brought to the team. It is so nice to actually have two dmen like him and Smid who I never get mad or frustrated at. That Wild record post trade has to say something about how important he was to that team.

  14. "Steve Smith" says:

    Schultz has looked good to me, too. Because I can’t figure out how to look at the underlying numbers for only part of the season (i.e. the part since the trade deadline), I’ll reserve judgment on whether my eyes are deceiving me.

    I appreciate that you’re able to simultaneously believe that Schultz is a great addition and that he wasn’t fair value for Tom Gilbert – shows some nuance that the internet and hockey fandom in general could use more of.

  15. fuzzy muppet says:

    Gilbert! You need to tank? Bring him in!

    He’s likely going to pull the Wild into 29th by weekends end

  16. gogliano says:

    Clay,

    Right you are, I thought Schultz was turning 31 this year for some reason.

  17. bookje says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Schultz has looked good to me, too.Because I can’t figure out how to look at the underlying numbers for only part of the season (i.e. the part since the trade deadline), I’ll reserve judgment on whether my eyes are deceiving me.

    I appreciate that you’re able to simultaneously believe that Schultz is a great addition and that he wasn’t fair value for Tom Gilbert – shows some nuance that the internet and hockey fandom in general could use more of.

    Nuance?

    What are you talking about, Nuance, you Communist!

    I just want to know why LT hates Schultz so much and places wimpskate Gilbert on some kind of untouchable pedestal on a plane above all other players! I think its just because he hates anybody who weighs more than 99 lbs and gets their hair mussed while playing the game.

  18. nathan says:

    bookje,

    Fate is on line 1 and tells me it was Gilbert that had to finish on a 29th place team. How did Tambi figure out Gilbert was the Jonah?

    Lowetide,
    Karma is on line 2 and tells me if Tambi trades Hall it will be to the Jackets. And Hall will do so well that Lowetide will write off the Oilers for real and end up cheering for the Stanley Cup effin Jackets with Conn Smythe effin Hall.

  19. oilersfan says:

    Minnesota isn’t just losing because they traded for Tom Gilbert. They are the second lowest scoring team in the NHL and at the deadline they were clearly sellers who decided to go for a good pick. They traded Zidlicky for Corey Foster (why didn’t they get a second to go with that? makes no sense to me) and gave away Greg Zannon.

    The thing I am frustrated with in the Gilbert trade is that if the Oilers had just kept him they could have tried to sign Zannon who is very similar to Schultz, then they could have had both.

    Either way, I am wondering if there is a second half to the Gilbert trade in the sense that maybe a playoff team stacked at D agreed to some sort of a trade at the draft for a puck mover for a prospect or 2nd rounder for cap reasons or whatever, but didn’t want to do it at the deadline because they wanted the player for the playoffs. Or if in negotiating with Hemsky I wonder if Zidlicky came up. They are both czecks and I think buddies. does anybody know if they use the same agent?

  20. stevezie says:

    oilersfan,

    Because, from all reports and appearances, Zidlicky is horrible now.

  21. "Steve Smith" says:

    I was just in Kingsway and passed by the Oilers Store or Jersey City or whatever it is. There was a rack of Oilers’ jerseys on clearance: Cogliano, Gilbert…and Peckham. The market has spoken, I guess.

  22. Traktor says:

    I wonder if Minnesota would trade us Koivu for Horcoff too?

  23. Traktor says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    I was just in Kingsway and passed by the Oilers Store or Jersey City or whatever it is.There was a rack of Oilers’ jerseys on clearance: Cogliano, Gilbert…and Peckham.The market has spoken, I guess.

    They might be selling his old number 49 jersey at clearance price. He switched to 24 this year.

  24. "Steve Smith" says:

    Traktor,

    Ah – good call. They were indeed 49s.

    (At this point, I’d say he should switch back.)

  25. Dipstick says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    I was just in Kingsway and passed by the Oilers Store or Jersey City or whatever it is.There was a rack of Oilers’ jerseys on clearance: Cogliano, Gilbert…and Peckham.The market has spoken, I guess.

    I wonder if anyone ever bought a Barker Jersey? Did they even bother to make any?

  26. bendelson says:

    Dipstick,

    I happen to know that Tambo bought one XL Barker jersey the day after the signing was announced. When I questioned him on size selection he acknowledged he wanted it oversized so it can be used as a nightie.

  27. rickithebear says:

    Denniss: I haven’t looked at the full list of teams the Oilers have played in the last 12 but I know there have been some EC tomato cans among the bunch.

    Dennis: since Trade deadline:

    Against Playoff teams:
    Dubnyk: 5of 8 PTs
    1W NSH
    1SOW FLD
    1L STL
    1SOL PHX
    KHABI: 0 of 2
    1L DAL

    Against non-playoff teams
    Dubnyk: 9 of 12PTS
    4W WPG, CBJ, CAL, CBJ
    1SOW SJ
    1L SJ
    Khabibulin 1 of 8
    3L ANA, MTL, COL
    1SOL TMP

  28. spoiler says:

    Dipstick: I wonder if anyone ever bought a Barker Jersey?

    Only if the price was right.

  29. bendelson says:

    With the injury to Hall it has been suggested that the Oilers might want to look at drafting a forward this summer (LT). While that is all fine and good, in the short term the surgery makes Smyth far more important than he would have otherwise been. It also provides MPS with an opportunity coming out of camp.

    Note to RNH and Eberle: keep you heads up tonight boys. It’s Dallas after all…

  30. Dalton says:

    gogliano: Right you are, I thought Schultz was turning 31 this year for some reason.

    So did I — we must have read that somewhere on the Internet. Weird.

  31. Clay says:

    So, serious question – what does RNH have to do over the final 6 games to swing the Calder vote in his favor? With all the MSM Landeskog hype, is it even possible?

    One argument I’ve heard is that LDK is a stronger even-strength performer, but that’s only by the +/- stat. If we’re talking EV scoring, RNH is clearly better. Their EV goals/60 and points/60:

    RNH 1.14 and 2.05
    LDK 0.79 and 1.73

    If RNH finishes with the rookie scoring lead, how do they not give it to him? Since the lockout, every Calder-winning forward was also the rookie scoring leader. In addition, the most games any post-lockout scoring leader has missed is 4 (Malkin)

    Should he be rookie scoring leader, despite missing 20 games, that’s an amazing accomplishment imho.

  32. Jordan says:

    Clay,

    Absolutely agree – that is an amazing accomplishment.

    But the one fact you have failed to take into account is this: he’s been compared to Wayne Gretzky, and he wears copper & blue.

    If the guy isn’t scoring 5 goals every other game, making world class defensemen like Weber, Lidstrom, Karlsson and Letang look like Pylons with his sick puck skills, all while curing cancer and creating stable cold fusion… It’s just not that good.

    Beside’s did you see how hard that Landeskog kid works?! Or the big hits?! He’s totally taking that terrible Colorado team on his back right now, even though they’ve got great players like Duchene, Stasny, Varlamov, Hejda… It’s like he’s a modern day Rudy, except with more skill and better hair.

    I mean really… who wants to cheer for an amizingly skilled player who no one even thought would play in this league, when there’s a gritty man child to prop up as the a hockey ideal incarnate?

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Hey DSF, if you’re around I followed up your comment of the other day about the Oilers lousy shots rates. Thanks for the story idea. If I have somehow misrepresented you as a “troll of the Oilogosphere” make your case and I will Consider an edit. ;)

    That piece also offers some statistical insights into why/how bad Minny sucks. Poor Gilbert.

  34. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Btw, am going to the game tonight myself. Looking forward to seeing Schultz play in person among many other things.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Interesting read, Bruce. Thanks for posting it.

  36. Alice says:

    From Bruce’s article:
    “the truth lies”

    Quoted for, umm, veracity?

  37. Clay says:

    Jordan:
    Clay,

    …all while curing cancer and creating stable cold fusion…

    There’s still 6 games left, bro. He may figure out how to cure cancer with cold fusion.

  38. nathan says:

    Alice,

    Bruce squeezed one word too many inside the quote marks.

    Reminds me of a story. A panda walks into a café…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eats,_Shoots_%26_Leaves

  39. DSF says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Hey DSF, if you’re around I followed up your comment of the other day about the Oilers lousy shots rates. Thanks for the story idea. If I have somehow misrepresented you as a “troll of the Oilogosphere” make your case and I will Consider an edit.

    That piece also offers some statistical insights into why/how bad Minny sucks.Poor Gilbert.

    So, now I supposed you think you’ve identified TWO elephants in the room.
    :)

  40. Moose says:

    FWIW, McKenzie said tonight that he thinks Justin Schultz, Anahiem’s 2nd rd pick who’s going unsigned and UFA, might end up in Edmonton.

    Kid has put up BIG numbers in college. RH shot and his numbers at Wisconsin dwarf Gibby’s. Listed at 6’1” 185. Never seen the kid play, but might be a like for like replacement. From all the buzz, it sounds like it would be a coup if they could land him.

    Then…if you do, do you consider trading the #1 pick for a young, top 6, power forward (JVR, B. Ryan rumored to be in-play) or in a Matt Duchene deal?

    Food for thought.

  41. speeds says:

    Moose,

    I don’t know that acquiring Schultz would really affect EDM’s draft decision, but couple Hall’s injury issues, potential BPA being a F, and Schultz, and MAYBE that lets them lean more towards a F than they might have?

  42. DSF says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Hey DSF, if you’re around I followed up your comment of the other day about the Oilers lousy shots rates. Thanks for the story idea. If I have somehow misrepresented you as a “troll of the Oilogosphere” make your case and I will Consider an edit.

    That piece also offers some statistical insights into why/how bad Minny sucks.Poor Gilbert.

    Had a chance to read your analysis.

    Using the 2011/12 SHD of -3.5, would result in the opposition firing 287 more shots than the Oilers over 82 games.

    With an expected SV% of .910, the opposition should score 26 more goals than the Oilers.

    Since their current goal differential is -17, they are likely on the sunny side of lucky.

    The disparity between their SF/G and GF/G remains a factor that will likely regress to the mean but could be countered by better defense and/or goaltending.

  43. Moose says:

    Speeds,

    Yeah, I was just spit-balling based on some media suggestions that they would consider moving the first rounder. But I do wonder if grabbing Schultz, who, as a college UFA is likely more pro-ready than any of the D-men they might draft (outside of Murray), would change some possible trade scenarios.

  44. pboy says:

    Different owner, different coach, different players and a different system, so how is that the Stars are still just as dirty as they ever were?

  45. Lowetide says:

    speeds: I think there’s a chance. Wonder about the Swede forward Forsberg too. This college defenseman could maybe solve things a little too.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Well that was not good. Dennis’ stories about Ryder suggest he’s not that smart, but that looked skilful.

  47. pboy says:

    Nice call asshole. The ref with he clearest view didn’t blow the whistle but the ref all the way across the ice had to be a hero.

  48. jake70 says:

    Lowetide:
    Well that was not good. Dennis’ stories about Ryder suggest he’s not that smart, but that looked skilful.

    Maybe he was talking about his brother Daniel. Michael not sending him enough cash.

  49. Lucinius says:

    Bad play there by Smid/Petry. Neither took the pass away which is 2 on 1 101.

  50. LMHF#1 says:

    56 is winning draws. Maybe he is a center. That would be perfect.

  51. hunter1909 says:

    “Bucky” talking to the team with 1:19 left in the 3rd was particularly telling, what with the way Horcoff stared in abject sincerity at everything “Bucky” was saying.

    “Bucky”, everyone’s sentimental favourite to not only survive any possible coaching change(and probably helping to make the job less attractive to independent thinking head coach types), but sooner or later heir apparent to the MacT and especially KLowe’s legacy of pure unadulterated nepotism.

    Horcoff, good company man plays like a goat but is deigned fit to captain the young team.

    “Some moronic defending by the Oilers” Stars colour commentator, lol. So. The cheesy little run of points has finally ended, now that the oiler’s play real playoff teams, who basically scare the hell out of them. The young players see the veteran/bums mailing it in, while the young players themselves get flattened(Hall, RNH).

    They obviously don’t scare Horcoff, who himself no doubt enjoys virtual immunity from opposition hitting.

    After all, what NHL defence doesn’t want Horcoff carrying the puck in their offensive zone?

  52. art vandelay says:


    I’m a little bit sad about how the era of the perpetual rebuild may be coming to an end shortly.

    /Citation needed

  53. oilersfan says:

    Marincin with 2 goals in the third tonight as Regina was down 4-2 and he tied it up. Not bad for a dman against the heavily favoured Moose Jaw warriors.

    No points for Galchenyuk in a 4-3 OT loss.

    So how are the Oilers going to convince Justin Schultz to sign with them when there is a ceiling on the money he can earn? They need to hire an NCAA recruiter. What do they use? Free house? Free car? Women? Not really sure how to go about doing it but man it would be nice to get a top4 22 year old dman for free . No draft pick, no development time, just pay the man.

  54. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Alice:
    From Bruce’s article:
    “the truth lies”

    Quoted for, umm, veracity?

    Haha, Alice, that’s one of my favourite sayings, especially when stats are involved.

  55. speeds says:

    oilersfan:
    Marincin with 2 goals in the third tonight as Regina was down 4-2 and he tied it up. Not bad for a dman against the heavily favoured Moose Jaw warriors.

    No points for Galchenyuk in a 4-3 OT loss.

    So how are the Oilers going to convince Justin Schultz to sign with them when there is a ceiling on the money he can earn? They need to hire an NCAA recruiter. What do they use? Free house? Free car? Women? Not really sure how to go about doing it but man it would be nice to get a top4 22 year old dman for free . No draft pick, no development time, just pay the man.

    (1) They could, in theory, offer him a rookie max contract, some teams may not want to do that, if you factor in all the bonuses

    (2) They can offer one of the easier routes to the NHL, in terms of the competition he’d be facing to (a) make the team and (b) for ice time if he makes it

  56. speeds says:

    Ryan Murray is having an unreal first round.

    5 points in 4 games, -1 against the second best team in the WHL when his team has been outscored 17-6. Game 4 is now in OT, with Everett down 3 games to none.

    Might he be pulling away from the rest of the D in the 2012 draft? If he hadn’t already, that is.

  57. stevezie says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    It’s also a really good movie.

  58. fuzzy muppet says:

    Can someone please explain to me why petry was out with potter for half the game? And when they were, they were fucking terrible?

    Renney sometimes seems like he’s trying to outsmart himself.

    Not mad that they lost, just mad that the person in charge made a change for no good fucking reason,

    Not a smart play for Man trying to save his job. Yuck

  59. Bruce McCurdy says:

    stevezie:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    It’s also a really good movie.

    Cool. I just looked it up, looks like it would be worth watching.

  60. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Ryan Murray is having an unreal first round.

    5 points in 4 games, -1 against the second best team in the WHL when his team has been outscored 17-6. Game 4 is now in OT, with Everett down 3 games to none.

    Might he be pulling away from the rest of the D in the 2012 draft?If he hadn’t already, that is.

    He’s an interesting player, isn’t he?

  61. pboy says:

    Gauthier is out in Montreal, as per TSN.

  62. pboy says:

    K-Lowe was born and raised in Quebec, maybe he would be a good fit as the new head of Hockey Operations for the Habs? He could even hire his buddy Tambo to be his GM there! The Molson family would be crazy not to snap these two up.

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