Voices Carry

I’ve always felt you have to give any legit prospect 500 at-bats to see what he can do for you. That’s about one full season, and the Oilers have several wingers knocking at the door. Teemu Hartikainen is perhaps the most unique among the group, and his skill set is as close as any available to address the perceived “need” for a big, physical player with enough skill to roll with the whiz kids.

Teemu Hartikainen, Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi are “on deck” for the Oilers jobs on wing, but in reality I believe Linus Omark is here because the organization wants Paajarvi to have a long run this spring as part of the Barons. Hartikainen is the fellow we should be watching from now through season’s end, as the club does appear to see him as a legit part of the future.

So far this season–and I do know it’s a small, small sample size for Omark and Harski–Omark seems to be the better bet and Paajarvi does nice things outside a feature role. If only he could score.

LEFT WING ZONE STARTS

Again, not a lot of data for Hartikainen or Omark, but we can see that in the 41 games MP played he has had a fairly tough zone start. Nothing earth shattering, the Jones-Smyth tandem has done the tough work but we can see that there was no “push” in terms of zs for this player.

LEFT WING QUAL COMP

Hartikainen’s number (and Omark’s for that matter) are over such a small sample we shouldn’t read anything into them. Paajarvi is in a slot behind Smyth, Hall and Jones at this discipline, and that makes sense since he’s a youngster trying to find his way.

LEFT WING CORSIREL

Hall’s posting a nice number, and Paajarvi’s is nice too I think even considering he’s not facing the toughs. I’m disappointed in everything about MP’s season, but more than that I think the organization has handled him badly. Beyond badly, actually. It’s like he borrowed Ron Tabak’s bicycle. Anyway, Paajarvi will get another chance in the fall and the Oilers will hopefully put him into a better situation.

Tom Renney on Hartikainen and expectations of him: “He’s an up and down player, hard on the walls at both ends, goes to the blue paint, has some grit in his game naturally. I’ll watch him in regard to his instincts and his ability to read the play.”

Sounds like the Smyth role, I think Harski will get a full season in 12-13 to see if he can make the grade. I suspect he’ll be up and down the depth chart from skilled line to checker to energy and pressbox. I also suspect his NHL job could come at the expense of Paajarvi, who might find himself on the outside looking in again.

Omark? I can’t find a way to make him a part of this roster based on how they’ve handled him and what they’ve said about his future.

Tom Renney on Omark and the rest of the season: “When we’re healthy I don’t know that he needs to be a top-six guy, but he’s certainly a top-nine guy. He’s got to play, (but) so do others.”

Voices Carry. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Omark and Paajarvi gone by the fall. More’s the pity.

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32 Responses to "Voices Carry"

  1. LMHF#1 says:

    To not get the best of these three and have them all on the roster would be a failing of the Oilers that I’m quite sure another team would take advantage of. All three are unique, skilled, and can beat players 1-on-1. You need those guys. Hartikainen especially, but he needs a coach who can see what he’s got an communicate with him, just as Omark could be exceptional defensively with similar tutelage due to his tool kit.

    Incredibly nervous about how these guys have been and will be developed.

  2. Lowetide says:

    LMHF: It’s crazy isn’t it? It’s bad enough to lose Brodziak and move back the cluster, but they’re going to send one of these young men away for very little.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    Any fool could manage the Kid Line.

    Smid looks like he’s just figured out how to develop himself, somehow.

    Management appear to be of a mind that it doesn’t really matter what they do or don’t do, because the support is there – Margaret Thatcher thought the exact same way when she introduced the Poll Tax.

    Renney’s incompetence with Swedes is enough to can him all by itself. Maybe a drunk Swede said hello to his Mom once, in WW2 – I don’t know.

    Barry Trotz is my choice – the dude’s got winner dripping out of every pore in his large body, and the Kids would love him.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Oilers don’t seem to be doing a good job on the Euro picks, that’s for sure.

  5. "Steve Smith" says:

    hunter1909:
    Management appear to be of a mind that it doesn’t really matter what they do or don’t do, because the support is there – Margaret Thatcher thought the exact same way when she introduced the Poll Tax.

    This thread’s even worse, because now I’m taking Hunter seriously.

  6. Schitzo says:

    I don’t know if you can say Renney has some sort of bias against the Swedish kids, given that Lander somehow spent almost all year here. And Petrell, for the Finnish flavour.

    Which makes the whole thing even more inexplicable. Even Pat Quinn type disdain for those fancy dan foreigners is a consistent thought process. What Renney is doing… well….

  7. Lowetide says:

    It all started going downhill when I said “this might be my favorite thread.” So: REJECT ALL SIGNALS!

    hope that works.

  8. Woodguy says:

    92.54% of Jones’ ice time is on RW, not LW.

  9. whale says:

    Malkin wouldn’t have stood a chance in Oil country. Not a Swede but same concept. Grigorenko is someone this team needs (give it 5 years) and even if drafted will eventually be dealt.

  10. hunter1909 says:

    TANK WATCH: Those pesky Hurricanes finally manned up and actually won a game, which vaults them to 7th place. On the other hand, the Islanders have just emerged as the biggest threat to 2nd(formerly 29th) place by dropping below Montreal into 3rd tonight.

    For those who remember, it’s a Tales From The Crypt version of the 80′s Dynasties clashing. With the former Permanent Dynasty Habs providing new meaning to the term.

    Come to think of it, that’s just about what the Habs were from 1956-1979 – a permanent Dynasty.

    And, since the Leafs were the only team who could take on the Habs and beat them during that run, I guess Leafs v Habs games between 1961-1967 were sensational.

  11. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide:
    LMHF: It’s crazy isn’t it? It’s bad enough to lose Brodziak and move back the cluster, but they’re going to send one of these young men away for very little.

    Fast-forwarding myself a long way down the road to a future as a coach, I don’t understand how anyone wouldn’t be amazingly excited to work with those 3. You could accomplish so much. I think a lot of the time the guys who’ve climbed the coaching ladder forget what they’re capable of shaping from such clay.

    A top nine of: Hopkins, Eberle, Hall, Hemsky, Gagner, Paajarvi, Hartikainen, Omark and Lander in proper hands would be murderers row in a couple years with proper coaching, and we have it right now. Don’t screw it up! Get them some damn defencemen to play with and some vets including a mean bastard for line 4. Then let them run and play them ALL in ALL situations as they become ready (I acknowledge a small transition period, unless we have elite D and goaltending in which case right now is fine).

  12. oilersfan says:

    Lmhf that is the softest top 9 in the nhl. Five of them are under 200 lbs.

  13. DeadmanWaking says:

    Off topic, but a nice statistical nugget from the “if you can’t beat them, cheer against them” department. Calgary can’t be impressed that the Avs picked up a point losing a game without scoring a goal. How does that feel? Like a foreign object discovering its legs where the sun doesn’t shine? Loser points are Bettman’s lucky golden watch.

    It would have been nice context for this thread if LT had reviewed the Dan Cleary story. I’ve forgotten most of the particulars, except for the ones that got away.

  14. Ducey says:

    Hartikanen is a low round pick with below average speed, a big body, and little truculence who is hardly ripping up the AHL. And the organization is screwing up because they are not putting him in a top 9 role to start the season??

    Would he be doing anything different elsewhere ?

    Omark has been hurt much of the season. He is a poor man’s version of what they already have. They should be looking at trading him.

    I do not see them trading MPS.

    It’s hard to see what the moaning is about.

  15. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ducey: Omark has been hurt much of the season.He is a poor man’s version of what they already have.

    One skilled winger per team!

    (I agree with you about Hartikainen, though.)

  16. oilersfan says:

    watching the Coyotes/Flames game, seeing Glencross, Pouliot, Torres and Brule on two playoff/almost playoff teams shows me the problem with the OIlers the last 5-10 years hasn’t been the bottom players it has been the top 6 and top4 dmen. Those 4 players can play important supporting roles on good teams but aren’t the difference makers on bad teams. Problem with the Oilers? They almost have a really good top 6 but those 4 are better than the Oilers’ bottom 6.

    also our goaltending and defence sucks.

    watching Phoenix i can’t get over how much their defencemen shoot the puck compared to the OIlers. Hopefully that changes with our wunderkidz on d like Marincin and Gernat. Not sure how much offense Klefbom or Musil will provide. looks like none based on this season.

    manohman

  17. DBO says:

    Hard to find a spot for Omark. The thing that may help is that MPS and Harski are still AHL eligible without having to clear waivers (I believe). I think with the talk of “size” needed, Omark is gone. It;s also why I think they take Grigorenko and move Gagner as well (even though he plays bigger then he is, same for Omark).

    A few of these pieces may be needed to address other glaring holes. yes it may mean moving a guy before he blossoms, but I think it’s needed. now, if they Brodziak one or both of them (dealing them for nothing) then we should storm the management offices and burn it down.

  18. LMHF#1 says:

    oilersfan:
    Lmhf that is the softest top 9 in the nhl. Five of them are under 200 lbs.

    Deployed correctly it wouldn’t matter. You don’t beat Boston by being Vancouver. Skate through the teams that try and play you tough. Draw penalties, kill em on the powerplay. It works.

    If you’re hung up on weight I’m guessing that by the year I’m forecasting there would only be 2 of them south of 200 lbs. I’m not hung up on that though.

  19. LMHF#1 says:

    (I agree with you about Hartikainen, though.)

    You shouldn’t. Guys with his skillset are harder to read, but it is all there. Time to refine.

  20. LMHF#1 says:

    DBO:
    Hard to find a spot for Omark. The thing that may help is that MPS and Harski are still AHL eligible without having to clear waivers (I believe). I think with the talk of “size” needed, Omark is gone. It;s also why I think they take Grigorenko and move Gagner as well (even though he plays bigger then he is, same for Omark).

    It is a tad cliched, but the possible Paajarvi-Lander-Omark line still looks solid for the future. Two of these three are already strong positional players with defensive skills. Omark is the jackpot though if you have a coach that can simply show him that what he does on the offensive boards works in the defensive zone too.

    The ability to separate the puck from the man trumps size.

  21. "Steve Smith" says:

    LMHF#1,

    Ducey’s point, as I read it, wasn’t that Hartikainen won’t amount to anything (I wouldn’t agree with that). It was that he’s yet to earn a top-nine NHL spot, which is true.

  22. DBO says:

    LMHF#1,

    agreed. I’ve been pimping the all swede line all year. But i fear we’ll never see it in the NHL.

  23. LMHF#1 says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    LMHF#1,

    Ducey’s point, as I read it, wasn’t that Hartikainen won’t amount to anything (I wouldn’t agree with that).It was that he’s yet to earn a top-nine NHL spot, which is true.

    This is true, and acknowledged including in my original comments. I should have known you wouldn’t agree with the negative talent assessment. Oops.

  24. "Steve Smith" says:

    LMHF#1:I should have known you wouldn’t agree with the negative talent assessment. Oops.

    As many around here will attest, there’s no such thing as giving me too little credit.

  25. LMHF#1 says:

    “Steve Smith”: As many around here will attest, there’s no such thing as giving me too little credit.

    Nah, I know better. The facade/schtick has entertainment value, but you’re a smart guy.

  26. Schitzo says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Hopefully you still have the capacity to feel joy once your articling year starts.

  27. oilersfan says:

    hey folks I have an acquaintance in Regina who watches every Pats game and I sent him an email with ten questions about Marincin. My questions are first bottom and his answers follow. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. read below.

    Hi I am wondering where I can get some sort of info on Martin Marincin’s play since he arrived in Regina. I know his stats, but am wondering if there is more commentary somewhere. Are there any Pats fans who blog or count scoring chances? If there aren’t would you mind answering a few questions? We fan are wondering a few things.
    1) How much ice time in general does he get?
    2) Does he play PP and PK?
    3) Does he play against the other teams’ best forwards because he is good defensively, or their worst because he is good offensively and can get more points in that scenario?
    4) Is he physical or more timid?
    5) How is his skating? speed, agility, acceleration, first step?
    6) How is his offensive awareness, and does his offence come at the expense of defence?
    7) HOw is his defensive awareness? Is he good defensively or only at creating offence?
    8. Is he considered one of the best defencemen on the team? In the league? Do other coaches plan around him?
    9) Overall how would you rate him?
    10) How is his character off the ice, do his team mates like him? Does he work hard? Has he gained any weight? thanks

    here is his answer:

    Hello,Here we go:
    1. I would estimate 25 minutes per game.
    2. Both
    3. He is matched up against the other team’s first or second line.
    4. Plays soft for his size
    5. Very good skater. With his size, it takes a while to reach top speed but his huge stride allows him to close the gap fast.
    6. Very good offensively. Good vision, playmaking. Huge shot from the point but doesn’t use it enough. Sometimes his high-risk style sacrifices defence.
    7. Has the potential to be better defensively because of his size. His reach is his best asset. Adept at knocking the puck off sticks. Needs to use size more to his advantage. Play meaner. Again, high-risk game at expense of defence at times.
    8. Yes, yes (in the conversation with top D-men but not elite) and yes.
    9. Very good junior player. Can be dominant at times at this level. Will need to become more well rounded (defensively) at the next level because he won’t go end to end in the NHL.
    10. Very happy to be here. Teammates seem to like him but tough to read because his English is still poor. Appears to coast at times on the ice, indicating a lack of effort, but some of that is because he’s very smooth, natural and makes things look effortless. Very lanky frame. Needs to fill out big time. ________________________________________

  28. hunter1909 says:

    Who is having a better season, MacT in the AHL or Rob Schremp(7th in scoring) in the Swedish League?

  29. "Steve Smith" says:

    Schitzo,

    I’m nine months into it, and happy as a clam.

  30. Henry says:

    Looking forward to seeing hartikainen. I want to like him and did like his drive to the net and boardwork in his few games last year. He loafed a bit coming to the d zone though. He looks like a player but his Okc numbers arent good for an NHL player on a very good ahl team.

    Markus naslund took a while developing with the jagr and Lemieux penguins then they gave up on him just when he looked like he figured it out. The oilers can’t trade mps based on this season. Would be dumber than Craig patrick was. Attitude, good. Skating, beyond good. Size,good. Defensive acuity, shockingly good. Naslund developed with mark messier. Renney has to play mps with Hemsky. Maybe Eberle. The tools are there and he’ll score when he gets a bit more aggressive.

    I like omarks game a lot. His jam on the boards against bigger guys is impressive. Just needs To develop how to get out of his zone. someone needs to tell him “sure the breakout system sucks, but it’s better than your way.”. Can’t see why he would want to stay here. They treat him like he smells. Wherever he goes he’s going to get thousands of asses out of chairs two or three times a game for years.

  31. sliderule says:

    I am afraid that MPS will be traded this summer.

    The oil just don’t think he is tough enough.

    When I heard Bulins comment to Sutton telling him to hack MPS to toughen him up I thought what’s going on here.It’s one thing for management to see you soft but if the team loses respect that’s bad.

    I lay this on management as he should have spent last year in OK city getting the feel for NA hockey

  32. FastOil says:

    oilersfan:
    Lmhf that is the softest top 9 in the nhl. Five of them are under 200 lbs.

    More like seven of them. Only Hall and Lander have the likelihood of getting over 200 without bulking up too much, which good hockey players usually don’t do.

    Size does matter in a contact sport. The thing is, you don’t get rid of better smaller players just because of it. Work with what you’ve got until you can find a bigger better version of Omark or whoever.

    As for Hartikainen, I like the FInns too, but all he has so far is potential. He doesn’t deserve to be in the NHL yet based on his AHL performance, let alone top nine. Didn’t Tambellini say they were going to stop doing this?

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