RE 13-14 DENIS GREBESHKOV: HEATHEN

Denis Grebeshkov is 29! 29! He’ll turn 30 in October, but it seems like 2 decades since we first heard of him (LAK picked him #18 eleven summers ago). What DO we do with Denis Grebeshkov?

RE 13-14: 60, 1-9-10

  1. There’s very little offense here. Two things: I don’t see him getting a lot of PP time (the year he had 39 points, 08-09, Grebeshkov did it with about 3 and a half hours on the PP), and secondly he hasn’t posted much offense in the last two years.
  2. What did he do in Russia the last couple of years? He’s been there three years: 2010-11 (54, 8-9-17 +18 20:32); 2011-12 (46, 0-8-8 +17 15:42) and 2012-13 (44, 0-9-9 -11 16:21).
  3. Wow. Going-the-wrong-way. Yeah, there’s some concern there, I’m not certain how much of this is quality of team based and how much is Grebeshkov based. One has to assume the Oilers feel the player is still able, and his age suggests that’s likely.
  4. Still, the offense is way down. Sure, but we know that much of the offense delivered by defenders is situation based–no PP time, way fewer total points. He played a full five minutes more per game in his last big offensive season and then moved down the depth chart (is my guess) on the powerplay.
  5. Did his team airlift someone worthy onto the team for 2011-12? Two, actually. Dmitri Kalinin (539 NHL games, mostly with Buffalo) and Kirill Koltsov (who was a 2nd rounder from Vancouver who went back home during the lockout and never came back). I’m pretty certain he was moved off the 1PP.
  6. Why did MacT sign him? He was pretty clear when they announced it. MacT: “What I see with him is he had a bit of a rocky year last year in the KHL. But he’s coming back as soon as we get his immigration (worked out) and he’ll be training virtually the whole month of August here. He’s going to be highly motivated on just a one-year deal and I’m sure he wants to make a career over here. He’ll be a good role model for Yak (Russian forward Nail Yakupov). Denis is a hell of a guy.”
  7. So, Denis and Yak? Plus Anton Belov and Slepyshev, Yakimov and Zharkov on the way (and others I’m sure). Part of the new wave is going to be Russian, it looks like the Oilers and Russia finally got it together.
  8. It seems like a great match. Agree completely. You can’t wave a dead cat around Edmonton without hitting a Ukrainian or Russian. The climate is similar, the hockey is terrific and the cheques cash.
  9. So, who does he play with? I have him third pairing with various partners, most often Belov but also including Nick Schultz, Oscar Klefbom and others.
  10. He’s a little too chaotic for the mentor role, no? Who knows? We haven’t seen this player in some time. This is a bit of an unknown.
  11. Why did you push him ahead of so many of the veterans? I’ll answer a lot of that in other RE’s, but for now let me say that he fits what MacT’s ideal blueline looks like, and the price point was worth the risk. I’m suggesting it pays off, but even if it doesn’t there’s no bad play here.
  12. He had spaz moments all the time. He did, MacT even referenced them. However, this is a guy who has a lot of experience playing the position and remains mobile, and he could always pass the puck.
  13. If Grebeshkov doesn’t make it, who gets his minutes? Klefbom or Nick Schultz would be my guess. I think Grebeshkov has a massive opportunity here to get an NHL career, he’s 29 and this is probably the last chance Texaco. His skills–especially passing–are a nice fit for the new blue in Edmonton.
  14. You’re really sold on passing and taking a pass. Highly underrated skill, the Detroit Red Wings are brilliant at it, Chicago too, all the good teams. You can’t lose possession just because your LW can’t take a pass, not at the NHL level.
  15. How many more defensemen are there? A lot. We’ll be done some time on Friday.
  16. Lordy. It’s a long list, they’re going to trade someone.
  17. Oh holy hell, it’s a three-for-one! I’m hopeful.
  18. Still? You’re insane, you’re like those old people in the desert who still pray for rain long after the town moves. Well, that smarts.
  19. Name one realistic 3-for-1 we could see this fall. Teams don’t make three-for-ones at that time of year.
  20. So, you admit the Oilers are done? No. The Oilers will move Schultz and Hemsky, the question is when they move them.
  21. Deadline? Yes, likely to replenish the draft picks because Steve Tambellini.

 THE HOCKEY NEWS SCOUTING REPORT

grebeshkov thn

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22 Responses to "RE 13-14 DENIS GREBESHKOV: HEATHEN"

  1. Woodguy says:

    Dan Rosen wrote this yesterday about Grebs at NHL.com

    MacTavish wants to believe ‘calculated gamble’ will pay off

    When Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish reached out to defenseman Denis Grebeshkov’s representatives earlier this summer, he did so knowing the reports about the 29-year-old’s three-season tenure in the KHL were enough to damage the career and reputation of the player who had 39 points in 72 games for the Oilers in 2008-09.

    MacTavish still signed Grebeshkov to a one-year contract worth a reported $1.5 million on July 18, taking an admitted risk on a guy he used to coach (2007-10) and still believes in despite his struggles over the past three seasons in his native Russia.

    “I think he was drowning as a player over there,” MacTavish told NHL.com. “The expectation would have been that Denis was going to put up huge numbers, and maybe that’s not the strength of his game to be a big point producer. I think there’s stability in coming back to a team that he knows well and to an organization that is going to support him. He’s on a one-year deal and he’s got a lot at stake. I like those situations.”

    Considered to be an offensive defenseman, Grebeshkov hasn’t scored a goal since the 2010-11 season and had 34 points in 144 KHL games. He languished so much that he didn’t make the cut for Russia’s entry into the past two IIHF World Championships. Nor was Grebeshkov invited to Russia’s Olympic orientation camp this summer.

    “It’s a tough league, that KHL,” MacTavish said. “There’s a lot of ambivalence over there. I think Denis was guilty of some of that.”

    MacTavish remembers Grebeshkov as being a skilled blueliner who was guilty of making some risky and questionable decisions with the puck, especially through the middle of the ice. In his Edmonton re-run, the Oilers need to see the skillset Grebeshkov displayed in his first tour, but with a greater attention to detail and intelligence.

    LInky: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=680085

  2. Ducey says:

    I’d be real surprised if he got 60 games. I’ll say 30.

    Skid-Petry, N & J Shultz, Ference and Belov are ahead of Grebs.

    I could see Belov getting farmed for 15 games to start the season so maybe there is a chance there.

    He will be fighting it out with Larsen and Potter for the press box.

    Potter is likely to be better and cheaper than Grebs, although maybe he doesn’t play well with the extra tight sphincter.

  3. slopitch says:

    Man oh man a 3 for 1 would be splendid.

    I wonder if there is still a chance the Coburn deal is within reach.

    I still think PHO could use Hemsky. Dallas could too. Their top line RW is either old Ray Whitney or young Nikuskin or Ritchie.

    I think your right that more will happen. My guess is things start moving mid-camp. Cant believe Grabovski is still available.

  4. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy,

    Money quote from the Rosen thing:

    “The expectation would have been that Denis was going to put up huge numbers, and maybe that’s not the strength of his game to be a big point producer. I think there’s stability in coming back to a team that he knows well and to an organization that is going to support him. He’s on a one-year deal and he’s got a lot at stake. I like those situations.”

    I like this bet too.

  5. Woodguy says:

    Ducey:
    I’d be real surprised if he got 60 games. I’ll say 30.

    Skid-Petry, N & J Shultz, Ference and Belov are ahead of Grebs.

    I could see Belov getting farmed for 15 games to start the season so maybe there is a chance there.

    He will be fighting it out with Larsen and Potter for the press box.

    Potter is likely to be better and cheaper than Grebs, although maybe he doesn’t play well with the extra tight sphincter.

    The fact that MacT added 235324 LH Dmen in the off-seaons spells out what he thinks of N.Shultz I think.

    I agree that today he’d be ahead of Grebs on the DC, but if (BIG IF) N.Shultz is in camp, he’ll be passed.

  6. Jordan says:

    Woodguy: The fact that MacT added 235324 LH Dmen in the off-seaons spells out what he thinks of N.Shultz I think.

    I agree that today he’d be ahead of Grebs on the DC, but if (BIG IF) N.Shultz is in camp, he’ll be passed.

    Either that or CMT feels the same way about Smid as LT does.

    Why do you hate Smid so much LT?

    Ducey:
    I’d be real surprised if he got 60 games. I’ll say 30.

    Skid-Petry, N & J Shultz, Ference and Belov are ahead of Grebs.

    I could see Belov getting farmed for 15 games to start the season so maybe there is a chance there.

    He will be fighting it out with Larsen and Potter for the press box.

    Potter is likely to be better and cheaper than Grebs, although maybe he doesn’t play well with the extra tight sphincter.

    Why do you hate Smid so much Ducey? Why you gotta make a stink too?

    The last time they traded Grebs they got Curtis Hamilton for him. Now they get him back for free.

    2 for 0?

    I’ve liked the bet since it was made – if he doesn’t come back into form, he’s gone – probably back to Russia. Good move. Smart Move. Edmonton for NA Hockey = Moscow for Russian Hockey, da?

  7. bookje says:

    Hang in there LT, I think I see a few clouds in the distance and if I squint just a little, I could swear they are moving in this direction. The barometer hasn’t moved, but I can sense it’s just about ready to drop. Any day now, any day – then they will all see how they were fools for leaving and for callling YOU crazy!!!!

  8. russ99 says:

    Despite the Russia factor with Yak and Belov, I really think Grebs was brought in for insurance, where MacT doesn’t want a repeat of last year’s player shuffle and defensive struggles in the bottom pairing.

    Especially when you look at our depth chart, all of Belov, Larsen, Klefbom and Potter could fail to earn an NHL job this training camp, so it’s good to have an experienced player to fill that role and push the others to really earn an NHL job.

  9. Bag of Pucks says:

    Heathen. Nice.

    Bowie takes a fairly pedestrian arrangement and absolutely elevates it with his ethereal vocals and abstract lyricism.

    I think this is the sign of a true artist, the ability to take something simple and make it more than the sum of its parts through emotion and originality.

    Oh, and I really hope for his sake (last chance Texaco – love that lyricism) that Grebs has his head on straight for this tour of duty. He was positively entropic in his last full season here.

  10. supernova says:

    Feel similar to how i feel about Larsen.

    If it improves 5th, 6th, or 7th defenseman it is a good gamble.

    I like that MacT is exploring Russia, there seems to be little risk in doing so. There are very few teams doing so, which could make Edmonton more and more of a destination for these players if we have some success.

    Excellent work MacT.

  11. murphy says:

    Jordan,

    Every interview Mact does he mentions Smid and how he’s an important part of the D, every comment on Ference included Mac saying that he would help share the shutdown tasks with smid. He never mentioned Nick Schultz in one interview i’ve heard except when directly asked, his response was that there will be a lot of competition for those final 3-4 spots and Nick will have to be a part of that. He also then has willingly on more than one occasion said he sees a third pairing of grebs-belov because belov can play the offside. There is no doubt N Schultz is being moved, salary is most likely the only reason hes still an oiler, i could see a depth forward on a big contract with comparable salary coming back, e.g. Upshall, gaustad, joel ward, etc.

  12. Hammers says:

    Grebs is fighting for time on the 3rd pairing but his age ; timing ; experience put him ahead of Larsen & Potter . As for N.Schultz he is still an NHL player but at 3.5 mill his overpaid . Trade deadline gets 2nd rd pick or LT gets his 3 for 1 in Sept with Nick a part of it .

  13. Jordan says:

    murphy,

    Your reasonable and easily documentable argument is ruining my attempt to continue to perpetuate the “everyone (especially LT) hates Skid” meme.

    It’s also perpetuating the knowledge (that anyone and everyone who’s watched him play knows) that Nultz is a great defenseman who would be a fixture in the top 4 of any NHL hockey team for years to come, and the Oilers would consider trading him only because they have a lot of very good options available on the back end , and not because of his ability to play defense at the NHL level.

    Hammers,

    If I were an NHL GM I wouldn’t be taking any salary on that early, especailly for the players the Oilers would be looking to offload. Too many questions. No trades will be made before December. And contrary to anyone’s assertions to the contrary, there will never be another 3 for 1 trade by any team in the NHL.

    Book it.

  14. GordM says:

    Bob Green in as new Director of Amateur and Free Agent Scouting.

    What does this mean to the Magnificent Bastard?

  15. fifthcartel says:

    Dan Tencer ‏@dantencer 1m

    Oilers create a position to bump Bob Green up from the WHL. Working with pro and amateur, he appears to now be in charge of all scouting.

    I wonder how this works out.

  16. godot10 says:

    GordM:
    Bob Green in as new Director of Amateur and Free Agent Scouting.

    What does this mean to the Magnificent Bastard?

    From the job description, it looks like:

    Stu focuses on draftable players. Green on non-draft eligible players.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: From the job description, it looks like:

    Stu focuses on draftable players.Green on non-draft eligible players.

    My guess is that is a replacement for MacT’s job last year. He said he was basically scouting College and CHL free agents.

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/02/13/oilers-vice-president-of-hockey-operations-craig-mactavish-says-pain-and-suffering-of-rebuild-almost-over

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “You’re really sold on passing and taking a pass. Highly underrated skill, the Detroit Red Wings are brilliant at it, Chicago too, all the good teams. You can’t lose possession just because your LW can’t take a pass, not at the NHL level.”

    from your ON article the other day:

    For me, the Ales Hemsky story is summed up in this exchange against the Detroit Red Wings. Hemsky–considered soft by many–once again enters the battle as he chases down the 200,000th “ring it around the boards like Pat Quinn told us to” errant puck–and gets slammed by a Niklas Kronwall elbow (and he left his feet!). Corey Potter–God love him–comes to the aid of his teammate and gets a 4:00 penalty.

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/8/13/heres-your-hat-whats-your-hurry

    One benefit of having a decent series of passers from the blue is going to be cutting down on winger injuries. Not to mention much better zone exits/entries.

    ———
    “Still? You’re insane, you’re like those old people in the desert who still pray for rain long after the town moves. Well, that smarts.”

    Reminds me of a great Buñuel film, “Simon of the Desert”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_of_the_Desert

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzGGjxKWJyA

    ——–
    why this song?

  19. DeadmanWaking says:

    Well, ten loose belts replace one tight belt–if you can keep them concentric. If they don’t stay concentric, removing your pants from your ankles is an all-day project. Maybe you could pawn a belt or three liberated from your knee-high Narcisse by shouting “But wait, there’s more!” at anyone who happens by. But–probably–sigh, no bites and it’s back to wrangling with the Chinese calf-hair puzzle, and hoping it doesn’t rain.

  20. Jordan says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    Well, ten loose belts replace one tight belt–if you can keep them concentric.If they don’t stay concentric, removing your pants from your ankles is an all-day project.Maybe you could pawn a belt or three liberated from your knee-high Narcisse by shouting “But wait, there’s more!” at anyone who happens by.But–probably–sigh, no bites and it’s back to wrangling with the Chinese calf-hair puzzle, and hoping it doesn’t rain.

    I love your posts. What are you on?

    Is it available over the counter. or do I need a perscriptiion or a dealer?

  21. G Money says:

    Jordan: And contrary to anyone’s assertions to the contrary, there will never be another 3 for 1 trade by any team in the NHL.

    I see what you did there!

    Let me try:

    “And contrary to anyone’s assertions to the contrary, I will never win Lotto 6/49.” *

    * crosses fingers, walks across path of black cat

  22. Lewis Grant says:

    2008-09 Defenseman scoring leaders
    5X5 P/60 (min 60 games played):

    Mike Green 1.58
    Dustin Byfuglien 1.43
    Brian Rafalski 1.34
    Tom Gilbert 1.30
    Denis Grebeshkov 1.23

    Yes, it was 4 years ago, but that’s some pretty good company.

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