THE DEPTH CHART THIS MORNING

There’s a tremendous amount of talent here and they should be a playoff team. Possible problems include injury, another new coach, an uncertain bottom 6F and some question about the overall quality of the blue.

azorcan

THE CERTAIN OILERS (18)

  • Goalies (2) Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera
  • Defensemen (5) Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid, Justin Schultz and Andrew Ferense, Nick Schultz
  • Centermen (3) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (inj), Sam Gagner, Boyd Gordon
  • Left Wing (4) Taylor Hall, David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Ryan Smyth
  • Right Wing (4) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones

THE UNCERTAIN OILERS (15)

  • Goalies (none)
  • Defensemen (7): Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov, Corey Potter, Phil Larsen, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Taylor Fedun
  • Center (4): Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello, Will Acton, Andrew Miller
  • Left Wing (3): Linus Omark, Ryan Hamilton, Ben Eager
  • Right Wing (1): Mike Brown

THE OUTSIDERS (22)

  • Goalies (4): Richard Bachman, Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, Ty Rimmer
  • Defensemen (6): Brad Hunt, Martin Gernat, Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Darnell Nurse, Joey Leach
  • Centermen (3): Ryan Martindale, CJ Stretch, Travis Ewanyk
  • Left Wing (5): Curtis Hamilton, Austin Fyten, Kale Kessy, Mitchell Moroz, Jujhar Khaira
  • Right Wing (4): Tyler Pitlick, Matt Ford, Derek Nesbitt, Cameron Abney

I think it’s completely up in the air as to how this roster rounds out. I’ll guess the final 5 will be Belov, Grebeshkov, Will Acton, Ryan Hamilton and Ben Eager but God only knows how it’ll look opening night. I do think the Nuge will be ready or close by October 1.

vertigo

 DEPTH CHART BY POSITION (Oilers in bold)

GOAL

  1. Devan Dubnyk
  2. Jason LaBarbera
  3. Richard Bachman
  4. Olivier Roy
  5. Tyler Bunz
  6. Ty Rimmer

This looks set, the main items being Rimmer’s cut down day and how many pre-season minutes will be given to Bachman and Roy  after their weekend showings. Dubnyk and LaBarbera are the NHL goalies for this season.

DEFENSE

  1. Ladislav Smid
  2. Jeff Petry
  3. Andrew Ference
  4. Justin Schultz
  5. Nick Schultz
  6. Anton Belov
  7. Denis Grebeshkov
  8. Corey Potter
  9. Phil Larsen
  10. Oscar Klefbom
  11. Martin Marincin
  12. Taylor Fedun

I don’t think anything’s changed yet, it looks like Anton Belov is in town (Brownlee’s latest item at ON has the intel) and I do think there’s a good chance they carry 8 defensemen. Surely the past teaches us that all 12 of the men listed have a very good chance of playing some NHL games this winter.

vertigo_image12

CENTER

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (injured)
  2. Sam Gagner
  3. Boyd Gordon
  4. Will Acton
  5. Anton Lander
  6. Mark Arcobello
  7. Andrew Miller
  8. Ryan Martindale
  9. CJ Stretch
  10. Travis Ewanyk

LEFT WING

  1. Taylor Hall
  2. David Perron
  3. Ryan Smyth
  4. Jesse Joensuu
  5. Linus Omark
  6. Ryan Hamilton
  7. Ben Eager
  8. Curtis Hamilton
  9. Austin Fyten
  10. Kale Kessy
  11. Jujhar Khaira
  12. Mitchell Moroz

RIGHT WING

  1. Jordan Eberle
  2. Nail Yakupov
  3. Ales Hemsky
  4. Ryan Jones
  5. Mike Brown
  6. Tyler Pitlick
  7. Derek Nesbitt
  8. Matt Ford
  9. Cameron Abney

This is my list, feel free to make changes or add anyone I’ve forgotten. I think the Nuge is much closer to being ready than they’re letting on, and because of it I’ve placed Hall at LW. The interesting items here are lines and what they’ll do with the special teams. Some of the weekend PK options (Mike Brown) were interesting but it’s much, much too early to be reading things into  pre-season decisions that could have been impacted by Hemsky’s illness. I do think we’ll end up seeing both Anton Lander and Will Acton in the NHL for extended periods this season, and Mike Brown might be in a big of trouble (but he should make the team). I still can’t find a way to get Omark on the roster, which should make for an interesting airport scene.

vertigo_image10

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

  • Tyler Dellow from mc79hockey. We’ll talk Eakins, culture change, TC battles and playoffs. Also, a new metric called “Open Play Corsi” Tyler’s working on.
  • Brian King–PDO–will talk Eskimos. Can the Eskimos win 3 of their last 7?
  • Colin Miller, manager of FC Edmonton. Eddies gave fans a lot of entertainment during yesterday’s tie.
  • Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. Great expectations in Ottawa, Spezza as captain, Cowen signed, big men in front of the net.
  • Noah Love from  National Post. Leafs pre-season is underway, we’ll check in on Kadri, Paul Ranger and the goalies.

I’m also trying to secure someone from FC to talk about an unusual day at Clark Stadium. 10-1260 via text or @Lowetide_ on twitter.

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63 Responses to "THE DEPTH CHART THIS MORNING"

  1. Jordan says:

    DEFENSE
    Ladislav Smid
    Jeff Petry
    Andrew Ference
    Justin Schultz
    Nick Schultz
    Anton Belov
    Denis Grebeshkov
    Corey Potter
    Phil Larsen
    Oscar Klefbom
    Martin Marincin
    Taylor Fedun

    LT, I don’t see how you have Grebs ahead of anyone as of this morning. He hasn’t looked great in camp, he hasn’t looked good in games, and his counting numbers show he’s giving up more than he’s creating.

    As of this morning, Potter’s ahead of him, just by virtue of not having made the mistakes! And Marincin and Fedun looked like better options. Say all you want about sample sizes, but if we’re judging players based on performance, and not on dollar amounts, there’s no way Grebs is playing NHL hockey if the season starts tomorrow. JMO.

    What is it about his play that has you thinking differently?

  2. Chris109 says:

    I do think we’ll end up seeing both Anton Lander and Keith Acton in the NHL for extended periods this season

    I didn’t think our center depth was that bad!

    :P

  3. Lowetide says:

    Jordan: His contract and the fact we’re barely a week into camp. Grebeshkov is going to have a period of adjustment, but he’s played at this level before. I think we as fans overrate whatever happened most recently, and the Oilers clearly signed him with an eye for the NHL roster. If he’s still shaky on the 26th of the month? Different story.

    Chris: lol. Surprised I don’t do that more often.

  4. russ99 says:

    Lowetide,

    Grebs isn’t done any favors by Eakins’ “clean slate” mentality and his performance to date, but I agree that they’re not going to make a rash judgment. Let’s see if Grebs turns it around in the next week. If not, he could be cut before we finish the preseason slate.

    I’m most intrigued about what Belov is going to bring when he gets to camp. A real wildcard.

  5. justDOit says:

    While it may be a little too early in the preseason to expect quality hockey, it’s apparently not too early for an ugly hit to the head. Klesla taken out by Nolan in Phoenix last night. No video has been released yet, but witness reports are calling it an intentional targeting of the head, with Nolan leaving his feet as well. Bissonette was later charged with leaving the bench. Yikes!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/rusty-klesla-stretchered-off-brutal-hit-kings-jordan-050403512–nhl.html

  6. bookje says:

    The red flag for me with regards to Grebs is that He wasn’t doing that well in The K HL

  7. Clarkenstein says:

    Grebs is an example of MacT throwing shit against the wall hoping it would stick. It won’t. Omark plays LW until Nuge is ready then he’ll stay in the press box until they figure it out or an injury occurs (somebody blows a shoulder). Fedun is the darkhorse on D. Guy is a steady eddy. I like his cerebral game.

  8. fuzzy muppet says:

    justDOit,

    Phoenix might be interested in a defenseman now….anyone on their roster interest the oilers (esp at C?)

  9. GATO BANDIDO says:

    LT, what do you think Omark’s chances are of slotting in at 3LW?

    I’d like to find a way for Smyth to play 4LW and get spelled a few games (e.g. second of back-to-backs) by, say, Joensuu so that he’s relatively fresh for the playoffs when he often plays his best hockey.

  10. justDOit says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    justDOit,

    Phoenix might be interested in a defenseman now….anyone on their roster interest the oilers (esp at C?)

    Or it may be time to think about the Oilers carrying 12 d-men, and having a couple sub in on the wings until they need to replace an injured player. Can’t believe this stupidity has already started in the preseason…

  11. Hammers says:

    I agree with most of your list but believe there may be a chance for an Eakin surprise especially in the “D” position . Brown has to stay & Omark should as an offensive option and the 4th “C” is between Lander or Arcobello so I feel they need 14 forwards but carry the 8th “D” on IR . I wouldn’t be surprised if one of Fedun /Marinchin/ Klefbom make it but I’m hoping Belov is the other top 4 player we need . Great Movie Vertigo by Hitchcock.

  12. G Money says:

    LT: Who is Andrew Ferense (and of course, why do you hate him so much)?

    On the D: honestly, it doesn’t matter who of Belov, Grebs, Potter, and Larsen sticks at 6/7 D. The competition between them will ensure that they will fight hard for the job and the ones who win it will be decent (fingers crossed). In the end, that and they will bring two really important things:
    - I’m pretty sure every one of them will be better than Whitney.
    - They all have NHL and/or extensive KHL experience, and will virtually guarantee that Klefbom and Marincin will get time on the farm rather than being asked to step up to the NHL too early.

    On Joensuu: I still believe our playoff chances will be pancaked by our third and fourth lines, and our third and fourth lines will be pancaked by 3L and 4C. The early returns on Joensuu from G1 of pre-season look promising i.e. size, mean streak, and a modicum of skill. If he really can bring that on a regular basis to 3L (pushing Smyth to a lower minute effective 4L), our chances of making the playoffs just went up.

    On Omark: doesn’t sound as promising, but it is early. I do believe a lot of his presence here is indeed RNH insurance.

  13. Hammers says:

    G Money:
    LT: Who is Andrew Ferense (and of course, why do you hate him so much)?

    On the D: honestly, it doesn’t matter who of Belov, Grebs, Potter, and Larsen sticks at 6/7 D. The competition between them will ensure that they will fight hard for the job and the ones who win it will be decent (fingers crossed). In the end, that and they will bring two really important things:
    - I’m pretty sure every one of them will be better than Whitney.
    - They all have NHL and/or extensive KHL experience, and will virtually guarantee that Klefbom and Marincin will get time on the farm rather than being asked to step up to the NHL too early.

    On Joensuu: I still believe our playoff chances will be pancaked by our third and fourth lines, and our third and fourth lines will be pancaked by 3L and 4C.The early returns on Joensuu from G1 ofpre-season look promising i.e. size, mean streak, and a modicum of skill. If he really can bring that on a regular basis to 3L (pushing Smyth to a lower minute effective 4L), our chances of making the playoffs just went up.

    On Omark: doesn’t sound as promising, but it is early. I do believe a lot of his presence here is indeed RNH insurance.

    Sorry , disagree it does make a huge difference as both Belov & Grebs contracts are lower than N.Schultz and if true Belov maybe a top 4 “D” who can play both sides, where as Nick has dropped down the list unless he has a great preseason .

  14. Bar_Qu says:

    Belov is at Rexall.— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) September 16, 2013

    This makes the D situation that much more muddied. I love the fact that there are 9 legit contenders for 7-8 D positions. Love it.

    And I do think Grebs will stick. Regardless of his chaos.

  15. jp says:

    I’m not sure if this has been floated on another thread already – I’ve had family in town for the past few days and haven’t been able to keep up.

    I don’t know how likely this lineup could be, but does it not look kinda awesome?
    Smyth-Hall-Hemsky
    Perron-RNH-Eberle
    Omark-Gagner-Yakupov
    Joensuu-Gordon-Jones

    Maybe a pipe dream, but that’s how I’m fitting Omark into the lineup.

  16. Bar_Qu says:

    Omark-Gagner-Jones could potentially be the top line against Winnipeg tomorrow for #Oilers we'll have an update after practice— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) September 16, 2013

    Media member heads explode.

  17. Truth says:

    jp,

    That lineup looks great on paper and would light up my beer league, but my only worry is the ability to get the back back once they’ve lost it. Nobody on lines 1-3 would worry me as a defenseman being chased into the corner. The classic argument is not having to worry about it because you have the puck all the time, but I just can’t see that lineup being successful vs LA or SJ.

    It’s a well known fact that they need some big bodies playing with the skill to impose an effective forecheck. Perron is said to have some grit so that may be a help. Don’t think it’s enough though.

  18. Zipdot says:

    I fully expect Omark to improve his defense; the kid is a hard worker and knows what it takes to succeed. Just needs a bit of time. I want him in this lineup.

  19. wheatnoil says:

    Stauffer reporting the following lines as likely for the game tomorrow:
    Omark-Gagner-Jones
    Hamilton-Arcobello-Yakupov
    Pitlick-Lander-Joensuu
    Moroz-Martindale-Abney

    Smid-Petry
    Grebeshkov-Larsen
    Klefbom-Davidson

    Omark certainly seems to be getting a push in the early preseason with Yakupov in game one and Gagner in game two. Hamilton too. Good to see Klefbom cleared to play as well.

  20. Truth says:

    I think everyone should be cautious with the talk of defensive depth. Grebeshkov, Potter, and Larsen potentially do not make any other team in the league. Many blasted the Oilers for trading Gilbert straight across for N. Schultz. Although I like him there is a potential that he, like Gilbert, would not have a spot on an NHL club at this time if he wasn’t under contract in EDM.

    The Oilers have second pairing defensemen in Smid, Petry, and Ference, a borderline second pairing d-man in J. Schultz, a third pairing d-man in N. Schultz, and who knows what in Belov, Grebeshkov, and Larsen. For them to be successful they need two of those mentioned to step into legitimate first pairing roles, J. Schultz to be able to figure out the defensive side of the game for 82 games + playoffs. Big + there. And they need a couple of the borderline guys to be legitimate competition for a bottom pairing on a playoff roster. The other option is trade but that just won’t happen. Wasn’t it said to be so easy to acquire a #1 or #2 d-man 3 years ago when the Oil were drafting forwards 1st overall? Were they ever wrong or what..

    This is a legitimate d lineup with a Pietreangelo (sp?), Doughty, Keith, Weber, Suter, Chara, etc.

  21. wheatnoil says:

    For what it’s worth, Dreger tweeted:

    After lengthy Visa delay due to Cdn Foreign Service strike, Anton Belov has been cleared and landed in Edmonton last night.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 16, 2013

    Strike has been going on for 5 months causing havoc in NHL and CHL as teams tried to get players over this summer.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 16, 2013

    Based on this, it appears that the strike is what held up Belov, as many suspected.

    Also going around twitter: Gilbert going to the Panthers on a PTO.

  22. delooper says:

    What’s happened to Gilbert? PTO in Florida would seem to mean either his contract expectations are way too high or his skills have fallen-off since Edmonton times.

  23. jp says:

    Truth:
    jp,

    That lineup looks great on paper and would light up my beer league, but my only worry is the ability to get the back back once they’ve lost it.Nobody on lines 1-3 would worry me as a defenseman being chased into the corner.The classic argument is not having to worry about it because you have the puck all the time, but I just can’t see that lineup being successful vs LA or SJ.

    It’s a well known fact that they need some big bodies playing with the skill to impose an effective forecheck.Perron is said to have some grit so that may be a help.Don’t think it’s enough though.

    I don’t disagree that more size with skill in the lineup would be a big help, nor that this lineup will have a tough time with LA/SJ. At the same time, if you simply don’t have big skilled players I’m not convinced putting big unskilled players in those slots is any better than small skilled ones. At least these guys CAN score in your beer league. JFJ in the top 6 is clearly not the answer (and wouldn’t help the team any vs LA/SJ-types). Maybe Joensuu and/or Hamilton are the answer, but they may be no better than JFJ (we will see). And this lineup has at least a plausible tough minutes/ZS line along with the 3 scoring lines. TC will tell how this shakes out, but it should be fun regardless!

  24. Truth says:

    delooper:
    What’s happened to Gilbert?PTO in Florida would seem to mean either his contract expectations are way too high or his skills have fallen-off since Edmonton times.

    Or maybe AHL level skills is what it took to be a top four defenseman in EDM two years ago?

  25. Nightman_ says:

    Hour 1 of LDWLT is down FYI

  26. rickithebear says:

    1. The primary role of a dman is to reduce shot count and quality of shot so goalies can make easy saves. Reduced Goals against.
    2. 1st pairing Dmen face the other teams best.

    Calling the 3rd best Ga 1st comp d pair in the game
    Smid-Petry second pairing!

    Then everyone but Chara-Boychuck and Hjarlmasson-Oduya are second pairing.
    it is good to have the best second pairing d pair in the game.
    Ahead of these second Pairs
    Weber-klien
    Kieth -Seabrook

  27. RMGS says:

    Here’s the latest bit of genius from the “Hall of Famer” himself, Jim Matheson:

    “Ott for Hemsky? Yeah, I’d seriously consider it.”

    Hahahahahahaha!

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Edmonton+Oilers+Toronto+Maple+Leafs/8918384/story.html

  28. justDOit says:

    delooper:
    What’s happened to Gilbert?PTO in Florida would seem to mean either his contract expectations are way too high or his skills have fallen-off since Edmonton times.

    He also might be in denial about the new economic landscape this year, and hasn’t seen an offer that he likes. Florida would be a perfect fit for him though – out of the spotlight.

  29. Ribs says:

    Oilers tweet….

    EdmontonOilers
    verified#Oilers assign goalies Bunz & Roy, fwds Ewanyk, Ford, Fyten, Nesbitt & Stretch, as well as dmen Gernat, Musil & Leach to #OKCBarons.

  30. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ribs,

    Okay, now I’m allowed to ask why Abney’s still here, right?

  31. striatic says:

    saw Vertigo for the first time in a long time in 70mm at the Seattle Cinerama just last friday.

    such an amazing, beautiful, disturbing film.

  32. wheatnoil says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Ribs,

    Okay, now I’m allowed to ask why Abney’s still here, right?

    All the guys with NHL/AHL deals that were sent down got to play one preseason game and Eakins said he wanted the ‘pro guys’ to get in at least one game to give them some ‘hope’. Abney will get sent down after tomorrow (where he’s scheduled to play to give him ‘hope’… too bad they couldn’t give him ‘skills’).

    The fact that Bunz didn’t even get a minute of action is a real bad sign for him… as is the fact that this means Rimmer is still at camp over him!

  33. Soup Fascist says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Ribs,

    Okay, now I’m allowed to ask why Abney’s still here, right?

    Very fair question. There is a better chance that I will go to a Justin Bieber concert than there is a chance that Cameron Abney will ever bear any resemblance to a hockey player.

    Note: I will never EVER go to a Justin Bieber concert.

  34. spoiler says:

    wheatnoil: Stauffer reporting the following lines as likely for the game tomorrow:Omark-Gagner-JonesHamilton-Arcobello-YakupovPitlick-Lander-JoensuuMoroz-Martindale-AbneySmid-PetryGrebeshkov-LarsenKlefbom-DavidsonOmark certainly seems to be getting a push in the early preseason with Yakupov in game one and Gagner in game two. Hamilton too. Good to see Klefbom cleared to play as well.

    It will be nice to see Klefbom on the ice.

  35. G Money says:

    Hammers: Sorry , disagree it does make a huge difference as both Belov & Grebs contracts are lower than N.Schultz and if true Belov maybe a top 4 “D” who can play both sides,where as Nick has dropped down the list unless hehas a great preseason .

    It has become common to dump on N Schultz as being a “third pairing” defenseman at best, with a trade or loss of job to one of the new depth defenders being the consistent predicted outcome for him this year.

    I do not agree. I think Sr is much better than he is given credit for, and I expect he (despite age concerns) has a big rebound year this year. He took a massive hit to his “seen him good” situation playing with Schultz Jr last year. The rebound will be EITHER because he will not be playing with Jr this year, or if he is, simply because I think defensively Jr will be a whole lot better than last year.

    To back this up, I would point you at the WOWY numbers for the Jr/Sr combo:

    Nick Schultz GF/GA/diff/CF/CA/diff WITH Jr: 0.624, 1.285, -0.661, 17.14, 20.59, -3.45
    Nick Schultz GF/GA/diff/CF/CA/diff WITHOUT Jr: 0.636, 0.53, +0.106, 16.44, 18.03, -1.59

    See that difference? Almost 3/4 of a goal better and 1.5 shots better without Jr than with per 20 minutes of hockey. That is a MASSIVE swing. (stats for 2012-13, from hockeyanalysis.com) (BTW, there is a similar result with Potter/Whitney – Potter actually holds his own as a defenseman away from Whitney, but was a disaster with).

    This is not intended to slag Jr Schultz, who has amazing offensive skills and will be a very very good player for a long time. But last year he was just adequate defensively at season start and then became very very bad as the fatigue of the season set in. No-one paid the price more than Schultz Sr.

    I do not expect any of the new defenders to supplant Schultz Sr (unless he gets traded). I expect our pairings will probably be Smid-Petry, Ference-Schultz Jr, Schultz Sr-new guy.

    I expect that Potter/Belov will be the 6/7 D initially, and then Belov/Potter once the big Russian finds his NHL feet. These things – Ference, grittier than Schultz Sr as Jr’s partner, Jr being better, Schultz playing 3rd pairing, and Belov/Potter instead of Whitney – will make for a substantive improvement in the defense.

    If Belov turns out to be good enough that he CAN supplant Nick Schultz at 5D, it will be a very very lucky thing for the Oilers.

    At this point, the contract numbers are irrelevant. This defense, while better than last year, is not good enough that they can afford to let lesser players play because of contract reasons.

  36. justDOit says:

    I watched some of that Jets game on CBC Saturday, and they look like a pretty decent team. This will be a big test for the Oilers.

  37. bookje says:

    G Money,

    I also don’t understand why Nick Schultz gets slammed so frequently here. He is a better defensman than many give him credit for.

  38. Zipdot says:

    Are we saying that Khaira is still up in camp??

  39. jp says:

    G Money,

    Also agreed on Schultz Sr. He’s very solidly on this roster unless traded, and should be in for something of a rebound.

  40. spoiler says:

    TSN has put up a poll for the Oilers next captain. Smytty is leading the race. Ebs second. Hall close behind in third.

    The player perhaps most likely to be named Captain, Ference, is not available as an optio. Howvere “Other” is available and falls between Gagner at 8% and RNH at 3.3%. I’m surprised at how much Gagner trails the top 3.

    Not that polls matter in such matters.

  41. jp says:

    RMGS:
    Here’s the latest bit of genius from the “Hall of Famer” himself, Jim Matheson:

    “Ott for Hemsky? Yeah, I’d seriously consider it.”

    Hahahahahahaha!

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Edmonton+Oilers+Toronto+Maple+Leafs/8918384/story.html

    I like Hemsky as much as the next guy, but Ott is no goon. Over the past 5 seasons his per 82 GP average is 82-18-25-43. That’s borderline top 6 or very solid top 9 production. I still believe Hemsky is a far better offensive player, but over the past 2 seasons he’s only averaged 82-15-28-43. Ott is 1 year older, makes 2M less and is a prick to play against. That’s far from an absurd trade suggestion. I feel like DSF here, but Matheson is probably right that Buffalo wouldn’t do that trade straight up.

  42. denny33 says:

    wheatnoil,

    Would love to have seen Omark with Yakupov – Bruce was reporting instant chemistry between Omark and Yakupov…would like to have seen that play out during a pre-season game.

    Sometimes you have no idea when two incredibly talented guys just click…

  43. denny33 says:

    justDOit,

    Tom Gilbert is in the same category as Ian White here in Winnipeg and Ryan Whitney in St.Louis….
    nobody *wanted* them….and for good reason.

  44. striatic says:

    jp: I like Hemsky as much as the next guy, but Ott is no goon.

    i really wanted the Oilers to pick up Ott as a free agent. his fancy stats in Dallas were very solid and the guy can win face-offs.

    last year in Buffalo he got shelled playing extremely difficult minutes.

    i think he’d be better than any other 4C option on the oilers, but that’s not worth trading Hemsky for, especially when they have the same time left on their contracts.

  45. denny33 says:

    jp,

    I agree with you guys about Nick Schultz….playing with Justin was a burden too large.

    However, Nick did some very strange things for his game:

    1. Felt the need to go on WAY too many offensive rushes
    2. Pinching way too many times and at poor opportunities.

    He needs to find his game again..,Simple Defence.

    No need for rushes or Pinching….I do think he is a 3rd pairing guy this year.

  46. rickithebear says:

    G Money:

    people just need to enlighten themselves at stats.hockeyalaysis.com
    you will see that the schultz’s were better without each other.
    likely the sum of the whole.

    On this site a player with an established history of high comp success is the problem and the over hyped unproven newbie is the victim.
    Ah the Hope of Youth!
    For me as before.
    J. Schultz needs to prove himself!
    Develop! age 22 to 24
    Smid went from 2ndcomp 3.00GA to 1st comp 2.26 in that period.
    A reduction of 30% by comp.
    it should not be unrealistiic to see 3.47 to 2.42 slightly below average GA
    i would be happy with that versus 2nd compfor J. schultz in 3 years.

  47. denny33 says:

    jp,

    I also thought it was agreed that Mac T tried all 29 teams on the movement of Hemsky and nobody was willing to have him for 5 million dollars per year.

    Hemsky is the new Horcoff – as far as contracts go..at least for this one year.

  48. stevezie says:

    denny33,

    No such thing as a bad one year contract. They don’t exist.

  49. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: See that difference? Almost 3/4 of a goal better and 1.5 shots better without Jr than with per 20 minutes of hockey. That is a MASSIVE swing. (stats for 2012-13, from hockeyanalysis.com) (BTW, there is a similar result with Potter/Whitney – Potter actually holds his own as a defenseman away from Whitney, but was a disaster with).

    In a not-unrelated matter, N.Schultz-Potter had nice results as a pair, playing 90 minutes together and not allowing a single GA (4 GF). Obviously some luck there with a CF% of just 48.1, but even that latter # was above-average for an Oilers D pairing last year. By eye 15-44 was a solid third pairing, kept things simple for the most part. Only problem was that those were mostly the games that Whitney played with J.Schultz (120 minutes together, 36.3 CF%)

    But one way to look at it is even if none of Grebs, Belov, Larsen or Klefbom pan out, that 15-44 isn’t that bad of a third pairing, and instead of Whitney playing with Jr we’ve got Ference.

    Now it remains to be seen whether Ference >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Whitney or if it’s more like Ference >>>>>> Whitney, but I’m pretty solidly convinced that Ference > Whitney.

  50. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Precisely! That said, I think the improvement on defense might be understated just by comparing Ference with Whitney. Being a former math major and MBA/finance/stats guy, I might restructure your equation to the following equations:

    2nd pairing: Ference+SchultzJr >>> Schultzs

    Why? I think Ference and SchultzSr are probably comparable from an overall defense point of view, but Ference’s snarly style might be a better complement to SchultzJr’s slickness. I also think Jr will improve his defense from last year simply because he’s a smart kid. And with a full year of pro under his belt, he won’t hit the wall midway. So three >>>.

    3rd pairing: SchultzSr+[Potter,Belov,Grebs,Larsen] >>>> Whitney+Potter

    Why? From a defensive point of view, SchultzSr is at least one > better than Whitney, and the other two >> are for Schultz having two working feet! The other one is because a. Potter as you pointed out is really quite good when paired with SchultzSr rather than Whitney, so on his own Potter > Potter. And b. if one of the other guys beats Potter out for 6D, well, then it’s also NewGuy > Potter. So four >>>>.

  51. rickithebear says:

    ESPN Goaltender rankings by experts:

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/notebook/_/page/2013_nhlrank_goaltenders/goaltenders

    they are on Crack.

    What you want from tenders is better than league average (.914 save%) goaltending year to year.

    ther have been 9 goalies to do this the last 3 years. ranked by save%

    1. C. Schnieder .931 Sv% 30.3 shots/gm
    2. Lundquist .926 Sv% 28.6 shots/gm
    3. Rask .925 Sv% 29.7 shots/gm
    4. Holtby .923 Sv% 31 Shots/gm
    5. Vokoun .920 Sv% 31.3 SHots/gm
    6. Niemi .919 SV% 28.8 SHots/gm
    7. Dubnyk .917 Sv% 31.8 Shots/gm
    8. Lehtonen .917 Sv% 30.2 Shots/gm
    9. Ryan Miller .916 Sv% 31.2 Shots/gm

    I can understand why they wanted to get Schnieder by result!
    But i want to see Dubnyk behind
    this years d after posting .920 Sv% facing 32.3 shots with
    Smid-Petry
    N. Schultz-Whitney/J.schultz
    Fistric-potter

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy: But one way to look at it is even if none of Grebs, Belov, Larsen or Klefbom pan out, that 15-44 isn’t that bad of a third pairing, and instead of Whitney playing with Jr we’ve got Ference.

    I think this is a fine default scenario (addition of Ference + subtraction of Whitney)… but there are two caveats

    1. finding a few legit(ish) flyers to push for work and compete for jobs can’t but help the cause of those 6

    2. there is no way we make it out of the first 10 games, let alone the season, without needing actual NHL players to sub in for injury. If those 4 (grebs, belov, larsen, klef) don’t pan out, as at least replacement level, we’ll be seeing some waiver pick ups or trades.

  53. godot10 says:

    Nick Schultz, 1 year left on contract.
    Anton Belov, 1 year left on contract.
    Denis Grebeshkov, 1 year left on contract
    Corey Potter, 1 year left on contract.
    Philip Larsen, 1 year left on contract
    Taylor Fedun, 1 year left on contract

    Pretty much an open and fair competition. It will be based on performance.

    Considering PIttsburgh cap situation, the Oilers might be able to swing a Potter or Larsen or Fedun deal to Pittsburgh for Niskanen, as Pittsburgh might be interested in a slightly cheaper depth defensemen this year.

  54. G Money says:

    godot10,

    I don’t know much about Niskanen. Is he a substantial upgrade on Potter et al? If so, would Pit be willing to give that up to save ~$1M or so in cap space?

    Trivia question: who was the defenseman drafted immediately before Niskanen?

  55. Bank Shot says:

    Nick Schultz gets most of his flak simply for being traded for Gilbert who was loved in the sphere.

    Nick Schultz’s strongish underlying stats last season have been virtually ignored. It’s crazy.

  56. jp says:

    denny33:
    jp,

    I also thought it was agreed that Mac T tried all 29 teams on the movement of Hemsky and nobody was willing to have him for 5 million dollars per year.

    Hemsky is the new Horcoff – as far as contracts go..at least for this one year.

    Maybe no one wanted him for 5M, but I think it’s more likely MacT’s asking price was too high.

    striatic: i really wanted the Oilers to pick up Ott as a free agent. his fancy stats in Dallas were very solid and the guy can win face-offs.

    last year in Buffalo he got shelled playing extremely difficult minutes.

    i think he’d be better than any other 4C option on the oilers, but that’s not worth trading Hemsky for, especially when they have the same time left on their contracts.

    4C is selling Ott WAY short. As I said, he’s averaged 43 Pts/82 GP over the past 5 seasons (nothing lower than 32 pts in a full season). He’s also faced from the 1st to 4th toughest competition and 31.0 to 48.6% OZone starts over the past 4 years. His corsi has been nothing special, but those are some tough conditions. Add in something like 250 hits per season and >55% in the FO dot and you’ve got either a physical presence on a scoring line, or a compliment to Gordon on a shutdown line. Looks like he even kills penalties pretty well too. The more I look at it the harder it is to argue that Hemsky might be the better player. Never mind that the Oilers are starved for a physical shit disturber like this. I have to agree with Matheson after all, I think I’d pull the trigger pretty quickly if a Hemsky for Ott trade were on the table.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    Bank Shot:
    Nick Schultz gets most of his flak simply for being traded for Gilbert who was loved in the sphere.

    Nick Schultz’s strongish underlying stats last season have been virtually ignored. It’s crazy.

    Yet Gilbert can’t find anyone willing to offer him an NHL contract.

    Plain and simple: Some of the Oiler fans are, for lack of a better word insane. This is manifested by slavish Horcoff and Hemsky boosting, while Tom Gilbert was merely another of the not-as-100%-total shitshow that Ulanov was therefore he’s a number 3 defenceman anywhere blah blah blah.

    My Gilbert moment came while during a random game. Some Oiler was getting his face washed with snow in front of the Oiler net – Tommy just stood there watching like a cowardly fool.

  58. OilLeak says:

    Bank Shot:
    Nick Schultz gets most of his flak simply for being traded for Gilbert who was loved in the sphere.

    Nick Schultz’s strongish underlying stats last season have been virtually ignored. It’s crazy.

    I always found the lack of love for N. Schultz odd, he actually performed rather well considering his role last season(J Schultz was pure chaos by the end of last season). Nultz is a far better option on D at this point than Larsen, Klefbom (boneitis), Potter and perhaps even Grebeshkov (Belov is an unknown at this point). The problem with Nultz is his salary, (which could be used to procure another center) and the addition of Ference who IMO is a very similar player. However, if Nultz is sent out the door, this defense suddenly looks a lot worse.

  59. G Money says:

    OilLeak: and the addition of Ference who IMO is a very similar player

    What’s wrong with having multiple defensemen of the same type?

    I would think that when lacking a true #1 do-it-all guy like a Chara or CFP, a team would need to fall back on a pattern of defense by committee. That is where the Oilers are at, no? In that situation, presumably you would build three good pairings each with a puck mover and a stay-at-home type.

    For the same reason, I think the contract issue isn’t that big a deal – since we don’t have a $6M-$8M Weber type, the reasonable flip side is to end up paying multiple mid-level guys in that $3M range, which is exactly what our three veteran stay-at-homes (Smid, Ference, ShultzSr) are making. Now arguably, SchultzSr will be a 5D this year, and his salary is an overpay for that level certainly. But it’s a mild overpay, not a Horcoffian or Khabibulinesque one.

  60. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bank Shot:
    Nick Schultz gets most of his flak simply for being traded for Gilbert who was loved in the sphere.

    Nick Schultz’s strongish underlying stats last season have been virtually ignored. It’s crazy.

    I liked Gilbert just fine, but I was hearing good things out of Minny when Schultzo was traded over, so I gave him a good chance. The reason I give him grief is basically “saw him bad”, but many times over. I’ve seen him look lost at the defensive blue line (possibly contributed to by Schultzy, but still), and then there’s LT’s dog whistle, but the kicker for me is seeing him get his shot blocked over and over again. He’s lost in the O-zone. Every one of those blocked shots improves his Corsi (“underlying stats”). That stat needs to be taken in context, it isn’t the total descriptor of a player’s quality of play. If you’re using that stat alone to decide whether player A is better than B, then you’re using it wrong.

    Having said all of that, I begrudgingly admit that Shultzy obviously had a deleterious effect on Shultzo’s play. I think Krueger’s system may have also. I think (hope) Shultzo may be in for a bit of a rebound year.

  61. theres oil in virginia says:

    hunter1909: Yet Gilbert can’t find anyone willing to offer him an NHL contract.

    Sure he can, Florida’s going to try him out at goalie!:
    Former Wild and Oilers goaltender Tom Gilbert is also going to the Panthers’ camp on a tryout, a source told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun.

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/9680344/tim-thomas-try-florida-panthers

  62. OilLeak says:

    G Money: What’s wrong with having multiple defensemen of the same type?

    I would think that when lacking a true #1 do-it-all guy like a Chara or CFP, a team would need to fall back on a pattern of defense by committee.That is where the Oilers are at, no? In that situation, presumably you would build three good pairings each with a puck mover and a stay-at-home type.

    For the same reason, I think the contract issue isn’t that big a deal – since we don’t have a $6M-$8M Weber type, the reasonable flip side is to end up paying multiple mid-level guys in that $3M range, which is exactly what our three veteran stay-at-homes (Smid, Ference, ShultzSr) are making.Now arguably, SchultzSr will be a 5D this year, and his salary is an overpay for that level certainly. But it’s a mild overpay, not a Horcoffian or Khabibulinesque one.

    The contract might be an issue considering the oilers are up against the cap and it could prevent the oilers from making a significant trade/acquisition. There’s no problem with having similar players on a roster, but the role of a zero offense 2nd/3rd pairing dman isn’t exactly the most pressing need for the Oilers at this point.

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