OILERS SIGN PLANTE, VANDEVELDE

The Edmonton Oilers have signed two restricted free agents, Alex Plante and Chris VandeVelde. Both are restricted and likely to be OKC Barons in 12-13.

Going all the way back to the 2007 Entry draft, the issue for Plante has been skating. He’s a big defender, tough as nails and willing to drop the gloves. However, Edmonton has Andy Sutton, Theo Peckham in the NHL and another first rounder (Colten Teubert) in the AHL who can fill that role. Sutton is more experienced, Peckham and Teubert more mobile. Plante is aware of the problem but works hard at it:

  • Plante: “I’ve got to stay on the ice because if I get off, I obviously turn into Bambi. It’s actually kind of funny. It’s honestly like I forget how to skate. I’m going to take my week and a half, two weeks or whatever and I’m going to try to get right back on the ice.”

Plante was +16 and coach Todd Nelson showed confidence in him. Despite not being an offensive dynamo he did show well at even scoring compared to the Barons group:

OKC BARONS EVEN STRENGTH SCORING—DEFENSE BY POINT PER GAME

NAME GP EV G EV A EV PTS EV/G
TAYLOR CHORNEY 50 5 13 18 .360
ALEX PLANTE 41 0 11 11 .268
COLTEN TEUBERT 46 2 7 9 .196
DYLAN YEO 48 4 4 8 .167
BRYAN HELMER 69 1 10 11 .159
KEVIN MONTGOMERY 48 1 6 7 .146

VandeVelde’s signing is no surprise. Edmonton likes the big center;  it is unlikely he’ll ever have enough of a bat to play as an NHL regular. VV’s even strength AHL totals (68, 5-13-18) were the worst among OKC regular centers.

Having said that, VV is a player coach Nelson relied on and there is still a small window (Belanger looks on the outs, Lander is unready) of opportunity. I think he slightly improved his NHL chances in 11-12.

Plante has to clear waivers this fall, and VandeVelde has one more year of eligibility.

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41 Responses to "OILERS SIGN PLANTE, VANDEVELDE"

  1. Rondo says:

    OT: Lots of mixed reviews about Tim Erixon

    Corey Pronman loves him

    Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch says he could not make the top 7 dmen in Columbus. Also there may be not spot for him at all.

    Bob Stauffer thinks that if Doan stays in Phoenix there will be a lot of interest in Hemsky.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky? Why in hell would they trade Hemsky?

  3. Traktor says:

    Lowetide:
    Hemsky? Why in hell would they trade Hemsky?

    I would assume to address some needs.

    Wing is a position of strength at the NHL level and Edmonton also has two close to NHL ready wing prospects in Hartikainen and MPS with Tobias Rieder posting filthy numbers in the OHL.

    To be honest I think Hemsky bounces back next year with close to 70 points but Edmonton needs some help at center and on D.

    Personally I would rather add 2/3 C to play behind RNH and Gags but Stauffer has been saying all along that Edmonton will add another NHL D and if you want someone good you have to give up someone good.

    The only problem is Hemsky’s value is in the shitter right now (at least compared to what it used to be).

    If Edmonton had to give up prospects in a deal who would you look to move? Say Edmonton had to give up 3 prospects for a legit top 4 D but told teams Klefbom and Pitlick is off the table. Which 3 do you keep?

    Hartikainen
    Lander
    MPS
    Marincin
    Musil
    Rieder

  4. Lowetide says:

    I’d prefer trading Lander, Musil and Rieder.

  5. justDOit says:

    I’d want a decent return for anything that includes Musil.

  6. russ99 says:

    How many contracts are we up to now?

    Ready to see some movement…

  7. shawnmullin says:

    Wouldn’t trading Hemsky shortly after he signed an extension send a pretty bad message?

  8. OilClog says:

    More Hemsky trade talks? Really? Doesn’t make any sense, his value on the market is nowhere near his value to the Oilers.

    I don’t think I let Rieder slip through the org unless he’s part of a package to land us the end of the world defenseman we’re all looking for.

  9. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Hemsky? Why in hell would they trade Hemsky?

    Stauffer won’t be happy until they have 3 more lottery picks, everyone is under 25 and no one can play tough minutes.

  10. fuzzy muppet says:

    Woodguy,

    In his defense, he didn’t say he WANTED to trade him, just that he’s the logical one to have interest

  11. Dipstick says:

    This leaves poor Linus as the only unsigned RFA. He gets no love at all.

  12. Ducey says:

    Good to know that VV won’t be lost on waivers.

    His O is under rated as he has spent much of his pro career in a defensive role.

  13. JohnnyRocket says:

    It’s beginning to seem personal with Omark. Is this shades of a Kevin Lowe vendetta playing out? That would be unfortunate, both for the team and the player. We’ve already lost value on Omark because he was played improperly. I’m still foolishly hoping that Kruger has the sense to give him a chance and up his trade value. I’ve been secretly dreaming of a MPs-Lander-Omark line. But, alas, it looks like Europe/KHL for Linus.

  14. bendelson says:

    I don’t often have much to say about the CFL, but wow that Esks game tonight was BAD.
    An actual comedy of errors. The end of the first half was nothing short of pathetic (and
    that was the good half).

    And still, the Esks have a winning record? LOL.

    How on earth did they LOSE that game?

    Ug.

  15. TheOtherJohn says:

    Duce

    Only took one more night: for another difference of opinion: VV offense isn’t underrated, it’s underground! LOL

  16. jp says:

    Ducey:
    Good to know that VV won’t be lost on waivers.

    His O is under rated as he has spent much of his pro career in a defensive role.

    Are you being sarcastic? Indeed VV won’t be lost on waivers, but his O is underrated? He scored 36 Pts in 56 GP in the USHL in his draft + 1 year, and topped out at 41 Pts in 42 GP as a 22 yo senior in college. He looked surprisingly reasonable in his short time in Edmonton, but this is not a profile that suggests someone who can score as a pro, and he hasn’t. He’s a valuable tough minutes player for OKC, but he isn’t an NHL player, and will likely be nothing more than a 3rd liner in the AHL.

  17. LMHF#1 says:

    Plante won’t make it. Why do we have to drag it out with the guys who have no potential to take a leap forward?

    I understand the value in having certain types of guys in your ranks:

    - Real NHL players
    - Guys who have the potential to make an impact on a big league roster for a decent period of time
    - An extremely small number of strong AHL vets who lead and perform very well at that level but will likely never make the leap (but don’t earn a lot of money)

    There are more than enough of these guys around to fill a 50-man list. What is the point in having any other type of player?

  18. LMHF#1 says:

    Dipstick:
    This leaves poor Linus as the only unsigned RFA.He gets no love at all.

    This team values Alex Plante and Chris Vandevelde over Linus Omark. That says we still have problems with talent evaluation and management.

  19. Ducey says:

    jp: Are you being sarcastic? Indeed VV won’t be lost on waivers, but his O is underrated? He scored 36 Pts in 56 GP in the USHL in his draft + 1 year, and topped out at 41 Pts in 42 GP as a 22 yo senior in college. He looked surprisingly reasonable in his short time in Edmonton, but this is not a profile that suggests someone who can score as a pro, and he hasn’t. He’s a valuable tough minutes player for OKC, but he isn’t an NHL player, and will likely be nothing more than a 3rd liner in the AHL.

    The great Pisani went 38 in 38 in his last year of college. So have many other useful NHLers.

    Give him some better linemates and some PP time and who knows.

    He did have 6 goals in 14 playoff games in the spring.

  20. jp says:

    LMHF#1: This team values Alex Plante and Chris Vandevelde over Linus Omark. That says we still have problems with talent evaluation and management.

    That’s not quite fair. The 2 signees are valuable OKC players and depth for the Oil (hopefully neither will ever need to see another NHL game in Edmonton, but good to have them around nonetheless). No doubt the Oilers would love to re-sign Omark as higher quality depth and a superstar AHL player, but he wants no part in that. So he sits unsigned and waits for a trade. I think Omark is/will be an NHL player, but it’s also very tough to see how he fits into the Oil lineup now or going forward. He has enough value not to let him walk, but a trade is the best option here. Talent evaluation is not the issue here.

  21. Ducey says:

    LMHF#1: This team values Alex Plante and Chris Vandevelde over Linus Omark. That says we still have problems with talent evaluation and management.

    If by “we” you mean “you”, yes “we” do.

    You get that Linus isn’t going to play in the AHL and that there is no room for him on the Oilers? Perhaps his situation is different from that of AP and VV who signed two way contracts and will be in the AHL?

    Edit: Yeah, what JP said.

  22. LMHF#1 says:

    jp: That’s not quite fair. The 2 signees are valuable OKC players and depth for the Oil (hopefully neither will ever need to see another NHL game in Edmonton, but good to have them around nonetheless). No doubt the Oilers would love to re-sign Omark as higher quality depth and a superstar AHL player, but he wants no part in that. So he sits unsigned and waits for a trade. I think Omark is/will be an NHL player, but it’s also very tough to see how he fits into the Oil lineup now or going forward. He has enough value not to let him walk, but a trade is the best option here. Talent evaluation is not the issue here.

    See my criteria above. Neither fit.

    The Omark situation is a creation of the management and talent evaluation structure I’m complaining about. Not a simple case of this one point in time.

  23. jp says:

    Ducey: The great Pisani went 38 in 38 in his last year of college.So have many other useful NHLers.

    Give him some better linemates and some PP time and who knows.

    He did have 6 goals in 14 playoff games in the spring.

    Yes, but Pisani scored 51 in his Jr year of college, and 60 in his 2nd AHL season. You’re right, who knows, it is possible VV’s offense could come around. There are some slight positive signs like his 14-6-0-6 playoff, and he scored 2 PPG in HS like everyone. But damn, he was a 4C for his AHL career until O’Marra got traded. And this was not a young kid coming out of Jr. My expectations for him are about 30 Pts as a tough minutes 3C in the AHL – that’s it, and that doesn’t translate particularly well to an NHL career.

  24. Ducey says:

    LMHF#1: See my criteria above. Neither fit.

    The Omark situation is a creation of the management and talent evaluation structure I’m complaining about. Not a simple case of this one point in time.

    How would you evaluate a smurf who had 3 points in 14 games, went -5 with a -2.5 Corsi QofC (essentially worst on the team)?

    Doesn’t scream NHL to me.

    I am sure his agent is just weeding through all the offer sheets right now.

  25. Schitzo says:

    I can’t remember, who was the one that Matt Greene beat the stuffing out of in TC for the dirty hit on Dee? Was that VV or Paukovich?

  26. jp says:

    LMHF#1:
    See my criteria above. Neither fit.

    The Omark situation is a creation of the management and talent evaluation structure I’m complaining about. Not a simple case of this one point in time.

    - Real NHL players
    - Guys who have the potential to make an impact on a big league roster for a decent period of time
    - An extremely small number of strong AHL vets who lead and perform very well at that level but will likely never make the leap (but don’t earn a lot of money)

    There are more than enough of these guys around to fill a 50-man list. What is the point in having any other type of player?

    By you’re own criteria, Omark MAY be a real NHL player, but he’s very unlikely to have an impact on the Oilers roster with it’s current makeup. He’s not going to play in the AHL, so if they were to re-sign him they’d have to keep him in the NHL, and he’s just not going to play much on this team. It most likely would be a waste of a contract to keep him around.

    I do agree with you though that his current situation is in part due to management/evaluation shortcomings, but I think most of that rests with Renney’s decision not to play him last year (though we’ll never know if higher management might also have been involved in this to a large degree).

    Regarding VV and Plante. I think they would qualify as “strong AHL vets”. They’re depth guys who hopefully won’t be needed at the NHL level (but note that both made it into NHL games in each of the past 2 seasons), and do play an important role on the OKC roster. They have value. I think the fear of the 50 contract limit is way overblown. I find it hard to believe that almost any of the lower end guys on that list couldn’t be moved for late draft picks or futures (=nothing) if the contract limit stood in the way of a trade or signing affecting the big club. If that’s true, then there’s no reason not to have VV and Plante around to help another OKC playoff run. Aside from that, according to C+B, the Oil are still only at 46 players after signing VV and Plante (that’s not including Klefbom and Musil, who won’t count towards the 50 until they’ve played 9 NHL games), so I don’t see the issue.

  27. jp says:

    Schitzo:
    I can’t remember, who was the one that Matt Greene beat the stuffing out of in TC for the dirty hit on Dee?Was that VV or Paukovich?

    I think Paukovich. VV would still have been in college (and thus not at TC) when Green was around.

  28. VOR says:

    The thing is most of what VDV showed in college hasn’t shown up (that we know of) in the pro game at any level. He was fabulous at faceoffs, brutally strong, not well hinged and surprised a lot of good defensemen with a step in that while slower than Anderson was also stronger. Once he had that partial step he was scary. He could have been a very useful piece if that game had come with him. I just think it would have by now if it was going to do so. Though we can’t say there is no chance since in limited NHL time he hasn’t been terrible and he was good in the AHL playoffs at both ends of the ice.

  29. art vandelay says:

    Omark had 3 points last year.
    An undersized, underweight, mid-20s Euro had 3 points last year.
    Does Oiler fan actually think anybody in the NHL would be willing to trade more than a bag of smelly socks for this guy?
    Get serious.
    Those guys are a dime a dozen. Every NHL team has one. Or four.

  30. jp says:

    art vandelay,

    He’s a PPG AHL player who’s scored 65-8-22-30 in the NHL. Almost looks like a 2nd liner… almost.

    He’s got his flaws, but they’ll get something for him. Mgmt obviously agrees, or they wouldn’t have qualified him.

    I’m not expecting a roster player in return, but a 3rd or 4th rounder or a mediocre prospect (or as part of a larger deal). May as well recoup the pick they spent on his 5 years ago rather than letting him walk for nothing, no?

  31. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Omark: 12th of 16 forwards in Corsi REL QoC
    14th toughest (aka 3rd easiest) Zone Starts
    14th best Corsi REL
    I wanna be your Sledgehammer

  32. PunjabiOil says:

    My ball hockey team won in the deciding game (game 3 – best of 3 series) of the finals.

    Feels good, man.

  33. stevezie says:

    PunjabiOil,

    Nice. Soak it in.

    On another note, why is no one talking about Voracek getting a million more than Gagner? I don’t think this is huge, but it is a surprise to me.

  34. Dipstick says:

    How did this ever become an “Omark” thread?

    *snickers maniacally, while wringing his hands.

  35. dessert1111 says:

    LT (or someone who knows),

    Could you explain why Plante will be lost on waivers this fall and VV won’t? This is the first I’ve heard of that.

  36. Woodguy says:

    LMHF#1,

    - An extremely small number of strong AHL vets who lead and perform very well at that level but will likely never make the leap (but don’t earn a lot of money)

    Plante was an AHL Allstar and led the Barons D in +/-.

    I don’t know how he doesn’t fit the category you mentioned that I quoted.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Plante began his pro career one year earlier.

  38. Cactus says:

    Woodguy: Stauffer won’t be happy until they have 3 more lottery picks, everyone is under 25 and no one can play tough minutes.

    Lowetide:
    Hemsky? Why in hell would they trade Hemsky?

    Good to know that I can go away for 10 days and return to people over-reacting to Stauffer!

    I read that tweet as saying there’d be interest in Hemsky, not that the Oilers were interested in MOVING Hemsky. And that’s a good thing – I welcome a market for Hemsky, not because I dislike the player, but because if teams get desperate to add more scoring, the market may eventually get to the point of an overpay. Would anyone here refuse a crazy deal like Hemsky and our 1st for Letang? It’s not going to happen like that, but the point is that almost any player is worth trading , if the price is right.

    If the Oilers were simply interested in dumping Hemsky, he would’ve been gone at the deadline. If the Oilers were desperate to get a #3-4 defenceman, they would have overpaid in free agency or in a trade already. They’re being patient – this is a good thing.

  39. russ99 says:

    art vandelay,

    And yet we’re bringing back the likes of Hordichuk and Eager and giving them minutes over a guy who could be a dynamic 2nd line winger on a team that has a real NHL third line, league average defensemen and a quality goaltender because Omark doesn’t want to rot at the AHL level or “buy in” to Renney’s garbage system and may have pissed people off with some funky shootout moves.

    But hey, it’s real important to have hockey players that excel at nothing but fighting.

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I take the complaints about Omark… but I’m not sure we need to put the failure of the team to recognize Omark’s ability on VV and Plante’s shoulders… it isn’t exactly a zero-sum game when the team can afford in both money and 50 man spots to keep all of them…

    both VV and Plante seem like utility AHL players with an increasingly small window of NHL up-side and a modest ability to drink coffee following injury.

    I’d guess each plays 3-5 games or more this year in the big show.

    russ99:
    How many contracts are we up to now?

    Ready to see some movement…

    Coppernblue keep a running tab of the 50 man list on the left side of their page:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/

    up to 48 now (they’ve got VV and Plante on there).

  41. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy:
    LMHF#1,

    - An extremely small number of strong AHL vets who lead and perform very well at that level but will likely never make the leap (but don’t earn a lot of money)

    Plante was an AHL Allstar and led the Barons D in +/-.

    I don’t know how he doesn’t fit the category you mentioned that I quoted.

    I was coming at this from more of the Keith Aucoin/John Slaney type angle.

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