KLEFBOM A POSSIBLE ANSWER?

The deeper we get into summer the more I wonder if the Oilers believe their best defensive options are in-house.

Quoting an article I posted at ON earlier this month:

Martin Lundén has been a valuable resource for Oiler fans over the piece and continues to bring information miles before the rest. He was so far in front of the Klefbom signing seasons changed, and now he has some new information that may impact the big club in 12-13.

  • Lundén:According to sources who’ve talked to Klefbom the Oilers have tried to persuade Klefbom, offering him a spot on the Oilers roster with guaranteed ice-time, a guarantee that the highly thought of Schultz didn’t receive (or so they say). Klefbom have yet to make up his mind, saying “it’s obviously a lucrative offer” that “makes you think” but “nothing is decided yet and I’ve asked them for more time to make a final decision”.

So, we have a few possible options now:

  • Oilers are waiting for everyone to return from holidays to add.
  • Oilers are waiting for new CBA to see if something shakes loose.
  • Oilers are getting good info on Ryan Whitney’s summer.
  • Oilers were so impressed with Klefbom at camp they think he can play–at least a little–in the NHL next season.

What say you? Is this something that seems reasonable?

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47 Responses to "KLEFBOM A POSSIBLE ANSWER?"

  1. mumbai max says:

    Based on the comments in the Belanger post related to advertising, I decided to click on the twiends site. It immedieately opened 4 tabs, would not let me close them, nor let me do anything else. I had to reboot. Not good for engendering an LT clicking culture! OK, now I can go and read about Klefbom. Cheers.

  2. jp says:

    From the last thread:

    Ryan says:
    July 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Lowetide,

    The current ads are ppc or pay per click. That being said, it’s against their tos (aka click fraud) to discuss clicking them to pay respect for the blogger.

  3. mumbai max says:

    All of it sounds reasonable. IF Whitney is 75%+, if J Shultz is 75% of what is dreamed, and if Klefbom is a player, it certainly changes the dynamic from what we had most of last year. Let’s hope for them all to be true. In that order. Now what to do with the surplus forwards from the fantaasy 3 for 1 trade?

  4. jp says:

    Re: Klefbom, it’s not a particularly reasonable solution to the teams need for a D (assuming they want to make the playoffs this year).

    If he’s “ready”, then it could be a positive for his development to get to the NHL sooner. Just as likely he’d play very limited minutes over his head and a move to the NHL would be a negative/neutral developmental decision. His TOI and boxcars in the SEL certainly don’t suggest someone who has nothing else to learn playing in that league, though RICKI’s observation about WJC top defenders playing in the NHL the next season provides some hope he could make the jump…

    So, from a team performance perspective: Not reasonable (though if the goal isn’t the playoffs, then possibly)

    And from a player development perspective: May be reasonable, but probably not.

  5. Cactus says:

    One of the difficulties of evaluating a GM is that we (generally) only have access to the deals that were made and not the ones that were refused. Based on Stauffer’s conversation with one of Weber’s agents, it seems as if he’s been out there looking for improvement on defence. The fact that he hasn’t made a move yet suggests that he’s not getting the deal that he wants. Being patient to await the consequences of the new CBA may also play into this: the NHL will almost certainly get a reduction in the players’ share of revenue, but if salaries don’t decrease at the same rate as the cap, some teams might get squeezed.

    Ultimately, I’d rather them be patient right now and go into camp with this group (though Klefbom should head to SEL or AHL) than move Hemsky or Gagner for a guy like Methot.

  6. gd says:

    I hope their only concern with Klefbom is what is best for his development and not rushing him to the NHL because we haven’t been able to find a top 4 Dman on the open market for the last 3 years. It looks like Karlsson and OEL came over at this stage and played about 20 games in the AHL and that seemed to work perfectly for those two. I hope if the Oilers feel Klefbom is better off learning the NA game here or the AHL versus one more year in the SEL they can communicate that too him and he listens.It would be nice for once for the team to execute a development plan for a player rather than rushing a guy to fill a NHL hole ala Gagner/Lander.

  7. Bushed says:

    LT, JP and Cactus–you all raise good points for consideration.

    LT, I know you think he’ll start in the AHL, but maybe Fedun is part of the “insurance” too? He sure looked good before the awful injury…

  8. gcw_rocks says:

    Wow, that would be a huge gamble. Two rookie blueliners and a potentially gibbled Whitney.

    That’s not the defence of a a team serious about playoff contention, especially one with a new starter and a below par back up.

  9. WeridAl says:

    gcw_rocks,

    Wouldn’t make any sense, especially when Tambo had come out and said Klefbom would be playing another year in the SEL, just before the draft. I guess some people missed that interview and would rather listen to and believe a questionable report coming out of Sweden.

    Looks like some eager beavers are trying to create a story here,

  10. Dee Dee says:

    Because guaranteeing ice time worked out so well all the past times the Oilers did it right?

    This team will not experience success until players EARN their spots.

    Smyth is not “stealing” ice time from Paarjarvi or any other of the young ones, he has earned it. It’s up to them to outwork and outplay him to take away that spot and make it their own. Which hasn’t happened yet.

    Same thing for all the tweeners. They have to take away someone else’s spot.

    The Oilers have traded away many NHL level players and replaced them with rookies who were forced to sink or swim, and boy we saw a lot of sinkers. And that is how not to build a quality organization.

    A good team wouldn’t guarantee anything other than offering a long look and a promise to place the player at the best level for them to succeed.

    A good team would go out and acquire another journeyman defencemen and let the kid develop instead of throwing him to the wolves.

  11. D says:

    LT,

    It seems that since Katz decided there will be an organizational culture change, the Oilers decided to build through the draft and the minor league system. If there are no outside defensemen that are excited and pumped about coming to Edmonton, then I don’t see the Oilers doing much to convince anyone to come here – it would go against the culture of the last several years.

  12. JohnnyRocket says:

    Re:Cactus

    I agree that we can never know the deals refused. As a previously (currently?) undesirable team to play for, I had some sympathy for management. As armchair GMs, we often ask why didn’t we sign player X for the same contract he received elsewhere, but in most cases it was probably never on the table. It somewhat justifies the absurd contracts that the Oulers offered to Heatley, Nylander, et al. Their real fault was thinking that those teams were one player away from really competing. Thank god, none of those offers were accepted. We would have still been carrying one of those albatrosses today. People complain about Horcoff’s contract. What if we had Heatley now too. We likely never would have tanked, but would have been drafting just behind the lottery picks for years.

    As an aside, although I was and am a Penner fan, as a solution to not landing the big fish, I don’t think they targeted the right fish. He cost us a 1st rounder in a deep draft (I think it was Tyler Myers we missed out on?). And we still eventually landed in dead last despite spending to the cap.

    In short, despite not knowing the deals offered and rejected, the Oilers still overpay (Penner in picks, Souray and Khabibulin in money) and seem to have difficulty identifying players on the rise in terms of value, rather than those with declining value. Tambellini has had the good sense not to offer any horrible contracts since Khabibulin, but because the same brain trust is in place, I lie awake at night worrying about what will happen when we have to indentify and sign the complimentary players needed to make a winning team. There is scarce evidence that this management team can accomplish that task.

  13. JohnnyRocket says:

    Re: Klefbom

    We’ve seen the results over the last 6 years of bringing in too many rookies at once. It’s enough that our forward ranks are peppered with rookies and sophomores. Let Schultz be the newby this year. Klefbom will not suffer for another year in the SEL. Whereas both the team and player could potentially suffer with him coming up this year.

    The only way this makes sense is if they are looking at development windows and want to fast track some players, so their peak years are aligned with the team’s stars. I strongly suspect this was the reason that Lander was brought up last year, so that he has the experience to play with the cluster when we’re competing.

  14. Cactus says:

    JohnnyRocket,

    This is my sense as well. While I think Lowe did a pretty good job in the early years, his last few were littered with mistakes (2006-2008). Some people forget that his last act as GM was the contract albatross that is Shawn Horcoff, signed days before Tambellini was introduced as GM (note: this is not a criticism of Horcoff: like the player, hate the contract).

    The other thing that critics overlook when speculating about trades is that it’s much, much easier to deal from a position of strength. That means having a playoff-capable roster, with several established players, as well as some franchise cornerstones. It’s a lot easier to trade a budding defence prospect for immediate help if your current blueline has 3-4 legitimate players locked up for the next 3 years. If you aren’t in that position however (and I’d argue the Oilers haven’t been and won’t be until sometime in 2013), you’re relying on that defensive prospect to develop and become that franchise cornerstone. Even now, I can’t understand the people who would trade away Gagner for a defenceman. Who would play centre then? I don’t want Lander anywhere close the the NHL until he’s had more success in the AHL and anyone with eyes or a stats sheet should feel the same.

    This is all to say that patience continues to be the right play for the moment. I definitely want another defenceman, but at a price that helps this team, not one that simply adds a new weakness.

  15. Ducey says:

    WeridAl:
    gcw_rocks,
    Wouldn’t make any sense, especially when Tambo had come out and said Klefbom would be playing another year in the SEL, just before the draft. I guess some people missed that interview and would rather listen to and believe a questionable report coming out of Sweden.
    Looks like some eager beavers are trying to create a story here,

    Except that since then they may have struck out on the trade/ free agent market and they have had a look at him in development camp.

    I am more patient than most and would like him to play another year (at least) in Sweden. The only way it makes sense to bring him to the NHL is if he is going to get limited minutes and opportunity in Sweden.

    Smid Petry
    Shultz Whitney
    Sutton Shultz Jr

    Potter
    Peckham

    Is a Klefbom likely to be much better than Sutton or Potter? In two years he will be, but not this year as a 20 year old rookie. Defense is hard.

  16. Semenko and Troy says:

    This time last year, fans were vehemently arguing that RNH would be better off with another year of Junior because of his size. I would wager 95% had yet to see him play.

    Once RNH came to the rookie camp and tournament and through the exhibition games it was easily apparent that he not only was better than the rest of the rookies, but most of the veterans too.
    I don’t think this was a surprise to the Oiler’s scouts or coaching staff.

    Klefbomb was easily one of the best defensemen at the WJC and by my eye at a higher level than Ryan Murray. Against Russia, every time Yakupov was on the ice, Klefbomb was there. He shut Yakupov down.

    If Klefbomb comes to camp and is better than Potter, Peckham, and Sutton, then give him a spot. Chances are, given what the scouts and coaching staff have seen, they’ve already figured that out.

  17. WeridAl says:

    Ducey,

    The last third of the season Klefbom was getting top pairing minutes, and was even getting some PP time. With Brodin coming over to Mini this season, his TOI should increase as would his PP time. Wouldn’t make any sense to bring him over now when the Oilers are load with D under contract and the amount of playing time he would be getting in the SEL. Klefbom should be getting ton’s of experience this year in the SEL and should be ready to play with the Oilers next season.

  18. prairieschooner says:

    Klefbom apparently is about to get huge minutes this year in the SEL.
    If he can handle himself we will know a bit more about him.
    If he can’t well we will know that too.
    What do we gain by bringing Klefbom over for the sake of one year sooner
    Are the Oilers saying that they can not find a serviceable D man to sign for a year or two?
    I hope they do not bring him over because if he gets scewed up we will have to listen to LT for the next 10 years a la M.A. Poulliot.

  19. WeridAl says:

    prairieschooner,

    I would think Stauffer has LT beat when it comes to Poulliot and having to listen to him has been painful enough.

  20. sliderule says:

    At the development camp the consensus was that Klefbom was far and away our best defensive propect.
    With the addition of Justin I don’t think that offering Klefbom a guarantee on ice time is a very good idea.In fact it would be a bad idea for the Oil and his development.
    I still think it would be better for him to come over but with a guarantee of a push on PP and TOI at the AHL level.Twenty or thirty games in okc and twenty or thirty with the oilers would be best for his development.

  21. WeridAl says:

    sliderule,

    The problem with your thinking is that they also have Marincin in the AHL, (another rookie) who has more offensive potential. Klefbom might not see any PP time with the Barons. Let Marincin develop in the AHL and Klefbom in the SEL, it’s not going to hurt the Oilers.

  22. dessert1111 says:

    I think I–and I get a lot of other people have the same openness with regards to what might be best for him this year–would be okay with the various options for Klefbom: another year with big minutes in SEL, a year split between AHL or NHL, or a year of bottom pairing NHL. It’s interesting to me that people seem a lot more lax about what might happen with Klefbom than they normally are about prospects; I wonder if that comes from lack of viewings or perhaps because he is seemingly on the cusp of being NHL ready?

  23. Dipstick says:

    Klefbom’s development should be the only consideration at this point. The Oil are not realistically ready to make any strong playoff push this year. All of their developing players should be put in positions where they have to compete for their playing time and have a reasonable chance to earn it.

  24. rickithebear says:

    I was advocating Klefbom before the schultz signing.
    Even though klefbom ate big minutes in the playoffs of a league 1.75 times better than NCAA.
    Schultz play and praise is very rare for the NCAA.

    This was the base for our 1.75Ga .944 Sv% games.
    Smid-petry
    XXX-Peckham
    XXX-Potter
    We saw whitney turn the corner in a 2nd Comp role from mid march to Apr 1.
    he was 10GM 0G 5A +7.
    Smid got hurt and whitney played 1st Comp in a dset base of Sutton, Whitney, Schultz, Tuebert, Barker.
    Whitney went 3GM 0G 0A -3. So 2ND/3RD Comp yes. 1st no!

    Whitout Smid-Petry a Sutton, Schultz, Whitney, potter in top 4 you get .940SV%.

    So D Depth:
    Smid-Petry
    Whitney-N.Schultz
    Peckham-J. Schultz
    Sutton-Potter
    Fedun-Tuebert
    With this depth we will not have klefbom on the team unless he proves he is clear ahead of J.S, Peckham, potter, Sutton
    .
    If whitney and Sutton go in 13-14 then then Klefbom rolls in as the 6/7 Dman.

    Smid-Petry
    J. Schultz-N. Schultz
    Peckham-potter
    Klefbom

  25. VOR says:

    What if Klefblom is ready now? It seems to me the arguments against bringing him over or in favor of developing him in the NHL all require the a priori assumption that he isn’t ready for full time effective NHL duty.

    I think we all can agree Klefblom is a bit of an odd case. He clearly has the size, speed, and strength of an NHL player. In the SEL his boxcars have implied he is far from ready. Yet his performance in WJC says he is Larry Murphy. So we have one strong argument against for which we have no underlying math to help us add context. We have two weak arguments for, one of which is plagued by small sample size.

    I’d normally say we go with Occam’s Razor. The simplest explanation is he is the best Dmanunder twenty in the world but still struggles against grown men. That would say leave him in the SEL for now.

    The thing is we all saw at development camp that he was head and shoulders better than the other D prospects.

    Maybe Oiler’s management things he is ready. In which case bringing him over and playing him is the best thing for him and the team.

  26. sliderule says:

    Weridal

    I am not sure how much PP time Marincin will get.He has a rocket of a shot but I don’t know if that will buy him PP time.

    At the development camp Klefbom to my eyes looked way better than all the players other than Yak.In the scrimmage he was shutting Yak down until he got hurt.

    He will still have to learn how to handle the smaller ice and physicality of NA hockey so that is why I would like to see him in AHL.

  27. WeridAl says:

    sliderule,

    He’s going to get top minutes in the SEL and it is debatable which is the better league the AHL or SEL. He had the size to shut Yakupov down, as he did in the WJC, any good NHL D will be able to do that. Please note I’m not a Yakupov fan. As I understand it, he loves the physical game, so that is not a worry and it seemed he had no problem with the ice size during the WJC.

  28. Ducey says:

    What if Klefblom is ready now? It seems to me the arguments against bringing him over or in favor of developing him in the NHL all require the a priori assumption that he isn’t ready for full time effective NHL duty.

    No one knows whether he is ready until he plays. By then he can’t go back to the SEL.

    I can’t see how playing against men in an increased role in Sweden would retard his development. As well, lots of players have been introduced into the NHL too quickly only to struggle and suffer a setback.

    Whats the rush?

  29. OilClog says:

    If he’s ready to take the next step play him, no point in putting him against lesser competition if it doesn’t truly develop his skills. This isn’t a kid that’s a maybe prospect, no point in treating him like one. Adding two rookies to a defense core, isn’t ideal, but it’s not like we’re adding a rookie potter, or sutton, or anyone of that nature. Both these young men have huge ceiling potential. I say play him.

  30. Oilcountry says:

    I think the general consensus on klefbom is that he is a stud dman, the only way to know if he can handle the nhl is for him to come to camp and find out.

    Personally i would rather see him in the 6-7 hole on defence over potter, and peckham.

    we can pick up some other teams cast offs, but why not let the kids try, if he can play he can play end of disscussion.

  31. Kris11 says:

    The best argument for bringing him over, IMO, would be that he will learn the NA style in the AHL (maybe with a cup of coffee in the NHL) more quickly, the sooner he comes over.

    But I don’t know if that’s a great argument either. There doesn’t seem to be any objective evidence that the SEL is worse than the AHL as a development league. And the problem with putting him in the AHL is that OKC will already be breaking in Marincin, and you can’t break in so many rookies on a single team that needs to play its vets without problems finding ice time.

    Ultimgely, I don’t think it matters whether he’s in OKC or the SEL as long as he isn’t expected to play more than a handful of games in the NHL.

  32. BrazilianOil says:

    jp,

    funny, here in brazil appears my own business in the adds.

    the klefbom option seems reasonable if the management wants the kids grow up together. imo the goal is not the playoff, is continue the rebuilding.

  33. Kris11 says:

    After all, Klefbom turned 19 on July 20. (Kid is young.)

    The article linked below suggests that only 153 defensemen in the history of the league played their first game at 19. (Another 56 played their first game at 18.) When you look at the lists of those players, some are HOF and others were not playing much or not well.

    Its highly unlikely that Klefbom is ready for the NHl this year.

    http://www.inlouwetrust.com/2011/9/5/2406519/adam-larsson-the-rarity-of-the-under-20-nhl-defenseman

  34. RickDeckard says:

    Bringing him over now would be dumb.

    1. Waste a year of his ELC
    2. Two rookie blueliners
    3. He doesn’t want to come over until he finishes his Swedish contract

    Let him go to the WJC and be the first repeat defensive all star since Phaneuf.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    prairieschooner,

    When the Pens finally add Marc Pouliot to their lineup and once he’s reunited with Sidney Crosby, there will be a lot of people with egg on their faces around these here parts.

  36. prairieschooner says:

    I cringe at the backlash

  37. tubes says:

    BrazilianOil:
    jp,

    funny, here in brazil appears my own business in the adds.

    the klefbom option seems reasonable if the management wants the kids grow up together. imo the goal is not the playoff, is continue the rebuilding.

    Did you move to Brasil or are you from there?

    My wife is Brasilian and I’ve been there a fair amount in the last couple years. Next time I head down I might have to look you up and stream some Oilers games on the net.

    Tchau!

  38. Ducey says:

    hunter1909: prairieschooner, When the Pens finally add Marc Pouliot to their lineup and once he’s reunited with Sidney Crosby, there will be a lot of people with egg on their faces around these here parts.

    The ones (or one) that said MAP still has a chance?

  39. Doug McLachlan says:

    As far as Klefbom is concerned, I think he could make the jump (and be effective) but the big stumbling block was that he, himself, wasn’t sure he was ready and that the Oilers are very pleased with his progress but will support his decision to either stay one more year in the SEL with increased time and responsibilites or to make the jump across the pond.

    I think the performance at the development camp may be enough to convince Klefbom to come to the main camp and get a better feel of where he sits in terms of being ready now. I hope he gives the main camp a look, if only to put the thought into his head of where he really is in terms of where he wants to be. If he thinks he’s ready for the big-time, he probably is. Sounds like a very deliberate kid who knows that he wants to be a force at the NHL level.

    As an UFA alternative/addition I am wondering what the thought is on Carlo Colaiaccovo, recently with StL?

    He is butilt of balsa wood in terms of his propensity to get injured but he has shown flashes of ability – particularly since leaving Toronto – that suggest that there is an NHL defensemen under all those bandages. I seem to recall his NHL Player Usage Charts were favourable for him last year with the Blues. If he and Whitney could time their injuries correctly…

    Still think he could be a nice Plan “B or C” for the additional Top 4 D-man the Oilers have been looking for.

    Do a one-year deal as with Barker and it seems pretty low risk.

  40. WeridAl says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    If Colaiaccovo was a RHS stay at home D I would consider it, but he’s not. Is he better then Whitney, because that’s who he would have to replace, best the Oilers stay the way they are and see what happens at TC

  41. hunter1909 says:

    Pity hunter1909′s not a billionaire; otherwise when the expected NHL lockout happens I’d put together an all star team of Oiler’s ex prospects like Rob Schremp + MAP, peppered with recent retirees like Steady Steve Staios, Mike Comrie, Jessee Niinnimaki, Duane Roloson(assuming he ever retires), with none other than Ethan Moreau as captain.

    Then, set up games between them and available Oilers who want to earn big money anyway during the lockout.

    Just open the checkbook until everything happens.

  42. hunter1909 says:

    Ducey,

    Pouliot was the first Oiler prospect i ever suffered from following post the infamous 2003 draft. I won’t bother about how Lowe said the main reason they picked him was because he played for the worst team in the Q without being depressed about it; instead recounting his first post draft season where he was close to the top of the leaderboard until getting injured…then the next season when a rookie from Nova Scotia who’s name escapes me joined the Rimouski(wtf where is this Poland?) hockey club and MAP enjoyed a trip to the memorial Cup…then he had the misfortune to graduate to a Oilers who didn’t have an AHL team so he was lent out from here to there, picking up injuries along the way. And never anything big enough to end his bright future either.

    In the end of course no one noticed when he left, ha ha.

    He’d probably get an “A” on that hypothetical billionaire lockout team for todays thread alone. Imagine MAP passing to Schremp on powerplays.

  43. Max Powers says:

    Reasonable? Seems more like ridiculous to me. Is Klefbom more likely a Doughty or a Niederreiter type? A lot of these hot dog teenagers look better than most at the beginning of camp and fade into obscurity as the season wears on only to look way out of place by about mid season. It takes a real special player to hold a head above water as a teenager in the NHL let alone excel.

  44. hunter1909 says:

    Max Powers,

    Snap!

  45. jfry says:

    Based on about 10 live viewings I put klefbom ahead of potter and peckham (and in a fan of teddy). Klefbom’s read and react is that of an “player” plus he’s got all the other things like skill and size.

    I think there are arguments on both sides of the ocean for this kid and his development, but he’d easily be in our top six. Were a horrible team so that’s not saying much

  46. Dalton says:

    jp:
    From the last thread:

    Ryan says:
    July 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Lowetide,

    The current ads are ppc or pay per click. That being said, it’s against their tos (aka click fraud) to discuss clicking them to pay respect for the blogger.

    Better to donate to Lowetide rather than encourage each other to fake-click on the ads just to try to generate Lowetide some revenue…

  47. Dalton says:

    Max Powers:
    Reasonable? Seems more like ridiculous to me. Is Klefbom more likely a Doughty or a Niederreiter type?A lot of these hot dog teenagers look better than most at the beginning of camp and fade into obscurity as the season wears on only to look way out of place by about mid season. It takes a real special player to hold a head above water as a teenager in the NHL let alone excel.

    … But he’s already playing pro, so he knows what a season is like against people playing to feed their families…

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