SMOOTH OPERATORS

It looks like the Edmonton Oilers are using the same template that won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes to win the day in the Dan DeKeyser lottery. According to various reports this afternoon, the club is one of five NHL teams in the final running for the highly touted college free agent.

dekeyser1dekeyser2dekeyser3

Interesting either way, and having Ralph Krueger as coach can only help. The Oilers can offer the max salary, an instant roster spot and an opportunity to move up the LH depth chart by midnight the day of his signing.

WHAT KIND OF PLAYER IS HE?

Corey Pronman is always helpful at these moments, his college profiles here include an item on this fellow.

  • Pronman: Some may wonder when you look at his numbers — 49 points in 118 NCAA games, 15 points in 35 games this season — and ask what all the hype is about; and it is because he has such great defensive value. DeKeyser has high-end hockey sense, good if not great mobility and a big frame that he’s not afraid to use. Given how well he processes the game, how many defensive stops he makes, the low amount of errors he commits, and where he is in his physical development, it is conceivable the 23 year old DeKeyser could step into the NHL right away upon being signed.

I don’t think we should go crazy lighting candles or anything, and it’s a ridiculous reflection of the team that a roster spot doesn’t need to be guaranteed, but adding DeKeyser can only be a positive considering there are no assets heading out of town.

Two final things:

  1. This may help explain the Smid turtle-speed negotiations.
  2. This would certainly explain the open spot on the 50-man roster list.

At the very least, it gives us something to talk about on a day when things were very low. Getting this guy AND signing Smid gives the club some very interesting options in 2013-14.

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49 Responses to "SMOOTH OPERATORS"

  1. MrSmitty says:

    My hope is the luck into landing this kid and manage to sign Smid on the cheap for term.
    Our defensive outlook would look good next year if Tambo can pull this off but I have my doubts.

  2. Rondo says:

    Detroit would be the last place I would want to live, most dangerous major city in the USA. Great organization but would not be my choice if I was making millions.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, I think it would be a little crazy to replace Smid with this guy, although Oilers.

  4. speeds says:

    IF the OIlers happened to get DeKeyser and Smid signed, do they look at moving N.Schultz at the deadline to open up some cap space, to move his 3.5 mil cap hit?

    That would seem to make more sense to me than signing DeKeyser, keeping N.Schultz, and trading Smid, although that depends on a number of unknown variables (what Smid would cost in contract, trade value of Smid and/or Schultz). I suppose there’s no reason you couldn’t keep all 3 except that would cost a bit of money if DeKeyser is getting the J.Schultz payday (wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t “B” bonuses from wherever he signs given his player type and given the dropping cap).

    If the Oilers are successful in getting DeKeyser, I’d guess they’ll move out 2 D by the deadline (I would likely look to be a bit more active and move out as many as 4 depending on trade values, who you can sign, even without landing DeKeyser).

  5. Lucinius says:

    If the Oilers manage to land DeKeyser (big if?), what I’d like to see for next year (if he pans out as NHL ready) is something like this;

    Smid/Petry
    DeKeyser/J. Schultz
    N. Schultz/Klefbom
    Fistric

    Top pairing won’t be great, but I think it’ll get the job done. Second pairing could be chaos incorporated, but might have enough upside if utilized properly to be a strong foundation for years. Third pairing gives Klefbom a veteran able defenseman to slightly shelter him as he gets used to the North American game. Also allows for Fistric coming in due to injury or a more physical element.

    I’d get rid of Whitney, Potter and Peckham. Utilize the call ups of Fedun, Marincin, etc., if injury hits (which it always does).

  6. striatic says:

    i can’t believe this guy is as good as Smid, and to outbid Detroit he’ll have to get a significant amount of the money Smid wants.

    unlike Justin Schultz, it looks like DeKeyser’s skills are replicable in the system by Smid and possibly Klefbom.

    interesting prospect, but not a reason to drag feet on signing Smid.

  7. Reg Dunlop says:

    I’ve never heard of the guy before today, doubt he is a savior more likely a diversion from just how horrid the oil are.

    A better diversion is Sade. Coked-out thin, nice.

  8. Captain Happy says:

    Darren Dreger ✔ @DarrenDreger

    Source say the Pens and Stars have a trade in place for Brendan Morrow. However, he has yet to waive no trade clause.

  9. Clarence Oveur says:

    Rondo,

    None of the Red Wings actually live in Detroit. They live in the suburbs and live comfortably just as they would outside of most American cities.

  10. Captain Happy says:

    Mark Spector Sports ‏@SportsnetSpec 23m

    Just told Flames GM Jay Feaster sent an email to 29 GMs informing Anton Babchuk and Cory Sarich are available. Both have NTCs.
    Expand

  11. Gret99zky says:

    Sign him and Tambi can put his feet up, pat himself on the back, and go home early.

    Just like he did after Yaks and the Younger.

  12. Rondo says:

    Clarence Oveur,

    Yes I know they don’t live in Detroit, but if you had a choice where to live, living in a suburb outside Detroit would not be my first pick.

  13. russ99 says:

    Sade, nice… But check out that sax player and bass player! The look like a bunch of 80s pimps.

    Trade market is really heating up. Do something, Tambellini!

  14. Captain Happy says:

    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 6m

    Pitt gets B. Morrow and a 3rd-round pick 2013 in exchange Dallas gets prospects Joe Morrow and a 5th-round pick 2013

  15. JohnnyRocket says:

    russ99,

    Do something not stupid, Tambellini!

    I’d prefer inactivity to another Gilbert out, Schultz Sr. in trade, as in Smid out and DeKeyser in.

  16. Clay says:

    Lucinius:
    If the Oilers manage to land DeKeyser (big if?), what I’d like to see for next year (if he pans out as NHL ready) is something like this;

    Smid/Petry
    DeKeyser/J. Schultz
    N. Schultz/Klefbom
    Fistric

    Top pairing won’t be great, but I think it’ll get the job done. Second pairing could be chaos incorporated, but might have enough upside if utilized properly to be a strong foundation for years. Third pairing gives Klefbom a veteran able defenseman to slightly shelter him as he gets used to the North American game. Also allows for Fistric coming in due to injury or a more physical element.

    I’d get rid of Whitney, Potter and Peckham. Utilize the call ups of Fedun, Marincin, etc., if injury hits (which it always does).

    Goodness.

    So 8 years after the legendary rookie blue line of 06-07, the Oilers would still be running out two rookies plus one who would have <50 games?

    Assuming Petry, Smid, and both Schultz' play all remaining games this year, that top 6 would start next season with 1472 NHL games of experience. Lidstrom himself had 1564.

    God, I can't wait until there are 6 veteran defensemen on this team.

  17. justDOit says:

    Captain Happy:
    Mark Spector Sports ‏@SportsnetSpec 23m

    Just told Flames GM Jay Feaster sent an email to 29 GMs informing Anton Babchuk and Cory Sarich are available. Both have NTCs.
    Expand

    Welcome to the desert, Jay. Let’s see who’s the first to get out without resorting to drinking one’s own urine.

  18. cabbiesmacker says:

    Hey, if we could get DeKeyser, …then have the heavens open just one more time and grant us the #1 OV again?………

    We could maybe move up to 24th or 25th next season? How good would that be huh?

    Woohoo. Go Steve Go

  19. Lucinius says:

    Clay,

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather something like;

    Veteran #1D/Petry
    Smid/J. Schultz
    N. Schultz/Klefbom
    Dekeyser/Fistric

    But this is the Edmonton Oilers and I don’t think the market is going to be there, whether it be UFA or trade, to get the Oilers that D-man who can push Smid (or Petry) down the depth chart based on merit. It either won’t exist or the price will be too high and all you’d see if the position of weakness move from one area of the ice to another. Filling holes is irrelevant if you’re just digging another hole to do so.

    N. Schultz I think can be expected to be a good d-man if he’s third pairing and seeing easier opposition (which also allows them to shelter the rookie, whether it be Klefbom or DeKeyser), with Fistric being able to draw in as needed. J. Schultz with a (half) season under him will be better, more used to the rigors of the NHL game and more able to withstand the schedule, especially since it’ll probably be an easier year for him, schedule wise, than this year. Smid and Petry with another year under them is always good.

    A veteran, true elite defenseman would solve a lot of problems for the Oilers, but at what cost and where? They don’t grow on trees. Most of the recent additions to that class have come within the organizations they belong to (unless you’re St. Louis and got away with fleecing some people in trades). We have to hope that Klefbom, J. Schultz, or whomever is that guy for us.. but it’ll take a bit. Until then we have to hope we can have a defense that’s more able to get the puck out to the forwards while not bleeding too much defensively. Getting rid of Whitney should help a fair bit with the latter.

    More important than the enigmatic elite defenseman, for the Oilers, is getting a system in place that isn’t happenstance meets chaos theory. You can make secondary pieces deliver higher than expected performance (Ottawa says hello) if the system is good enough; and where the Oilers lack more than any other area on the team is a sound defensive zone system and forwards that work well with it.

  20. icecastles says:

    cabbiesmacker: Hey, if we could get DeKeyser, …then have the heavens open just one more time and grant us the #1 OV again?………

    The only thing it would mean is that there are still holes in the team, but now we can’t afford to keep the guys we have.

  21. sliderule says:

    This team we have right now could have been a playoff team with good coaching.

    I rewatched the Blues game and watching the oil defence trying to beat the extreme trap the blues played was painful.The oiler defence would pass the puck back and forth and without forechecking pressure try to headman it into the jaws of the trap.Turnover after turnover!

    I know we are not going to replace the management but we have to quit changing the captains chairs in coaching and bring in a whole new staff.Buchberger and Smith can be pro scouts if you have to keep them on payroll but for gods sake get a new coach and staff.

  22. Captain Happy says:

    You know…it’s interesting how a team like Dallas can trade an aging veteran for an absolute blue chip D prospect like Joe Morrow while Mr. Dithers hopes DeKeyser will accept his invitation to the prom.

    If Hemsky isn’t being shopped, there should be torches and pitchforks on Kingsway.

  23. godot10 says:

    Captain Happy:
    You know…it’s interesting how a team like Dallas can trade an aging veteran for an absolute blue chip D prospect like Joe Morrow while Mr. Dithers hopes DeKeyser will accept his invitation to the prom.

    If Hemsky isn’t being shopped, there should be torches and pitchforks on Kingsway.

    Nobody contender is going to take a player with a year left on the contract. Most are already pretty tight to the cap next year.

    Hemsky is a summer time trade, or a hockey trade (with say a team like Washington), or a hockey trade with a cap crunched team like Buffalo where one is taking one bad contract pack to use one of those compliance buyouts on.

    Of the players being considered, it is really only Smid who could bring back a top prospect in return at the deadline.

  24. godot10 says:

    Considering the booing at the game, it is about time for Katz, Lowe, and Tambellini to make a public apology to the fans and accept responsibility for not providing the young talent with adequate veteran support, instead of forcing Hall to answer stupid questions from a doofus like Tencer.

    And why the hell is Tencer directing these questions at the players instead of at management.

    Hey, and while you are at it, Daryl, doofus’s like Tencer are not good for the public perception of the organization.

  25. RexLibris says:

    A couple of things:

    - @Captain Happy – regarding Feaster, Babchuk and Sarich. I have to wonder if that announcement was met with a collective “yeah, we know, we’ll get back to you”.

    - DeKeyser would be nice. I won’t hold my breath for two years in a row, although it would be an awfully nice punctuation to this roster.

    - Does anyone wonder if Hemsky could be moved at the draft for a pick or a prospect? He might have more value there than at any time until the 2014 trade deadline.

    - If Tambellini could find a way to wrap up Plant and Abney in a trade, even for a 5th or 6th round pick that would be a move in a positive direction. Maybe find a team that needs prospects. Any prospects. And is habitually trading away picks. *coughCalgarycough*

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Rondo:
    Clarence Oveur,

    Yes I know they don’t live in Detroit, but if you had a choice where to live,living in a suburb outside Detroit would not be my first pick.

    I posted this before, but it’s worth a second look:

    http://www.marchandmeffre.com/detroit/

    Still… as devastated as that city is… don’t knock the suburbs of Detroit. And really we aren’t talking about suburbs here but autonomous cities that happen to ring the metro Detroit area. Think Toronto and Scarborough/Missisauga/Vaughn/Markham/etc… except the aesthetic value is reversed.

    or, Ann Arbor is a fucking gorgeous city. I’d live there in a heartbeat. and with the Univ. of Mich. right there… it’s an active place for a young person.

    Captain Happy:
    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 6m

    Pitt gets B. Morrow and a 3rd-round pick 2013 in exchange Dallas gets prospects Joe Morrow and a 5th-round pick 2013

    That sounds like an Oiler deal… “hey you’ve got a guy with the same name…. let’s swap them!”

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Captain Happy:
    You know…it’s interesting how a team like Dallas can trade an aging veteran for an absolute blue chip D prospect like Joe Morrow while Mr. Dithers hopes DeKeyser will accept his invitation to the prom.

    If Hemsky isn’t being shopped, there should be torches and pitchforks on Kingsway.

    B. Morrow has 5 years on Ales. That’s a lifetime in Hockey years.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Yeah, I think it would be a little crazy to replace Smid with this guy, although Oilers.

    I guarantee Smid is gone if they sign this guy.

    Because Oilers.

  29. VanOil says:

    Imagine having a GM that can trade an aged veteran that has more grit and guile left than playing ability for a top drawer D prospect like Joe Morrow.

  30. delooper says:

    I agree with Rom.A. Although Detroit is ugly there’s no reason a Red Wing has to live there. Ann Arbor is gorgeous and a great place to live. I doubt living conditions could be a negative to anyone considering joining the Red Wings.

    I don’t know what goes through the mind of a young player when picking a hockey team. If the J.Schultz-style summer free agent bonanza continues, the Oilers are bound to have a pretty bright future.

  31. Reg Dunlop says:

    Tambo ought to have a look at Sarich and Babchuk. They would be 1-2 on this team. For anyone doubting that the oil have a good shot at 1st overall, notice the flames taking it to the Blues. Ya, I know, the oil softened them up. With 3 games left against the flames, if they don’t trade Kipper, Calgary WILL finish ahead of the mighty oil.

  32. VanOil says:

    The Eastern Canadian teams must be licking there chops with realignment. An ageing Detroit and rebuilding Buffalo just a short bus ride away. Nice warm trips to Florida for free points from two cap floor teams in an Oiler/Columbus like world of suck.

    Boston and then Montreal as early presidents trophy favorites for next year.

  33. speeds says:

    godot10: Nobody contender is going to take a player with a year left on the contract.Most are already pretty tight to the cap next year.

    Hemsky is a summer time trade, or a hockey trade (with say a team like Washington), or a hockey trade with a cap crunched team like Buffalo where one is taking one bad contract pack to use one of those compliance buyouts on.

    Of the players being considered, it is really only Smid who could bring back a top prospect in return at the deadline.

    It depends on the team. OTT could easily add Hemsky without any cap issues for 13/14, and could probably use him as well.

    PIT, TOR, NJD, CAR, NYI, ANA, DAL, LAK, DET could also conceivably be interested.

  34. WeridAl says:

    Some people have to stop smoking that wacky tobaccy, Danny DeKeyser is no J.Schultz and he’s no were near or ever be a Smid. Danny DeKeyser reminds me of Marincin and it is questionable if he is better. Both are about the same size, both skate well, both have a offensive game and good defensive game. Marincin has played well on a bad Baron team, which is a lot to say for a young kid, and with Klefbom and Gernat, why do the Oilers do this. Then I see some people actually believe that he might play with the Oilers this season. Yes DeKeyser would be a catch, but do the Oilers need another LHS D, and can people tell me he’s better then Klefbom, or Marincin.

  35. VanOil says:

    To further Rom.A. and Delooper’s point on the nice Detroit subburbs. Check out this real estate tour from the classic Grosse Pointe Blank http://youtu.be/21LRjYrWzK0

  36. gcw_rocks says:

    I will say this every time someone says “trade Hemsky”. If you trade him, it had better damn well be for a real hockey player and not prospects or picks. The Oilers only have a small number of assets that could be traded to bring back an impact player and Hemsky is one of them.

    You want to trade Hemsky, go ask Washington for Alzner or Carlson. Remind them they are paying Ovechkin $9M-$10M per season to score goals and there are damn few wingers in the league with the ability to set up Ovechkin better than Hemsky could. In fact, if Washington wants to get Ovechkin going again, Hemsky is exactly the kind of player they need.

  37. speeds says:

    gcw_rocks,

    I’m not necessarily advocating for a Hemsky trade, just noting some possible teams that could/might be able to fit him in should they choose.

  38. delooper says:

    WeridAl,

    In a way that misses the point. Picking-up a coveted young player like DeKeyser when he’s 22 years old means you’ve got a far more highly-defined prospect in your system and you didn’t need to run the gauntlet of drafting and training him, worrying about career-ending injuries. Picking up such a player is roughly the equivalent of having an extra 1st round pick that year **PLUS** he’s a far more mature player than a draft pick. Even if you don’t keep him in your system he’s a valuable trade piece. It’s a total win-win situation.

  39. RexLibris says:

    Just on a side note, Dillon Simpson’s North Dakota team has played three games against Michigan Tech (Jujhar Khaiira).

    Simpson – three games, 2G, 1A, and plus 2.

    Khaira – three games, 1A, minus 2.

  40. TheseColoursDontRun says:

    Clarence Oveur,

    Rondo,

    I could be wrong on this but I think Stevie Y lived in Windsor while playing in Detroit. Not that Windsor’s a utopia but I’d take it over Detroit.

  41. WeridAl says:

    delooper,

    delooper,

    The problem with that sort of thinking is if they ever trade him away the chances of attracting another FA would almost nil. You would be back to the Kevin Lowe days all over again.

  42. delooper says:

    WeridAl:
    The problem with that sort of thinking is if they ever trade him away the chances of attracting another FA would almost nil. You would be back to the Kevin Lowe days all over again.

    Now that’s confusing, too. There’s a very mixed mindset going on here. Are the Oilers in a golden era of attracting free agents with their up-and-coming talent, or are free agents repelled by the awful management . . . It looks to me like Edmonton is particularly attractive to young free agents right now. Not because of their stellar reputation for management, but because of the young cluster of players on the cusp of being great NHL players. So if a player gets traded-away, it’s not going to hurt the reputation of the Hall-Eberle-RNH-Yakupov cluster, it’ll just mean that management doesn’t give contracts for life to young players out of college.

  43. BlacqueJacque says:

    So those dominant, unstoppable St. Louis Blues who didn’t even give us a peek at the net lost to the lowly Flames.

    Fire Lowe chants coming? PLEASE?

  44. gcw_rocks says:

    speeds,

    I have no problem with trading Hemsky if real hockey players that fill a need are coming back the other way. It’s the endless, “let’s trade real hockey players for picks and prospects” that gets me riled up. This team does not need any more prospects. It needs a LD who can play 20+minutes a night and win the possession battle.

  45. Ducey says:

    Apparently no one is surprised that Dallas, who holds the last playoff spot, traded away Morrow for some future. Guys like Gregor don’t even want the Oilers to part with guys like Whitney….

  46. Ducey says:

    gcw_rocks:
    speeds,

    I have no problem with trading Hemsky if real hockey players that fill a need are coming back the other way.It’s the endless, “let’s trade real hockey players for picks and prospects” thatgets me riled up.This team does not need any more prospects.It needs a LD who can play 20+minutes a night and win the possession battle.

    The prospects may turn into that LD. Hemsky isn’t going to bring someone back like that. Especially as the buyer will need that guy for their Cup run.

  47. speeds says:

    gcw_rocks,

    There’s nothing that says EDM couldn’t, in theory, move Hemsky for picks and prospects, and then move some picks and prospects at the draft to fill the holes that they would have liked to by moving Hemsky directly, but couldn’t because what they wanted wasn’t had by the teams that were willing to give up value for Hemsky.

    That isn’t to say EDM would or wouldn’t be better off to just keep Hemsky and fill other holes via UFA/trade.

    I don’t, strictly speaking, agree that a return of picks and prospects for Hemsky is automatically a bad thing, even if the prospects are kept and developed as opposed to flipped for immediate help. Moving Hemsky for a “B” prospect and a 2nd isn’t sensible, but as the quality of the prospect and pick improve there must exist some point where the value of those prospects are more than one year and 18 games of Hemsky. It’s possible that price is never offered by another team – that’s why only a small fraction of players are traded in any given season, but that price exists.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    speeds:
    gcw_rocks,

    There’s nothing that says EDM couldn’t, in theory, move Hemsky for picks and prospects, and then move some picks and prospects at the draft to fill the holes that they would have liked to by moving Hemsky directly, but couldn’t because what they wanted wasn’t had by the teams that were willing to give up value for Hemsky.

    That isn’t to say EDM would or wouldn’t be better off to just keep Hemsky and fill other holes via UFA/trade.

    I don’t, strictly speaking, agree that a return of picks and prospects for Hemsky is automatically a bad thing, even if the prospects are kept and developed as opposed to flipped for immediate help.Moving Hemsky for a “B” prospect and a 2nd isn’t sensible, but as the quality of the prospect and pick improve there must exist some point where the value of those prospects are more than one year and 18 games of Hemsky.It’s possible that price is never offered by another team – that’s why only a small fraction of players are traded in any given season, but that price exists.

    On this Hemsky for D prospects talk… we should probably remember the Penner deal. Klefbom looks good now, but was magic beans at the time, the other part in the puzzle, Teubert, looks like a complete bust.

    I suspect ST would turn Hemsky into more of a Teubert + than a Morrow +

  49. Zipdot says:

    Hemsky is VERY moveable. He’s taking Yakupov’s spot, and let’s not forget our little buddy Linus Omark… MOVE HEMSKY NOW.

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