BASS ACKWARDS

I think we knew this was true, but watching the young forwards kick ass in the majors while waiting for the defense to develop points out an absolute fact about NHL hockey: it takes longer (and there are more detours) to develop a defenseman. Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov and Sam Gagner are ready to roll, but the defensemen are going to take awhile. Stars vs. OKC Barons, Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK. 10-15-13(Martin Marincin, photo by Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved)

ETA, DEFENSEMEN

If we can agree that Justin Schultz, Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid are the future (and Belov may be, too) then it follows that the replacements for men like Andrew Ference, Nick Schultz, Denis Grebeshkov and Corey Potter may come from the bubbling under group.

  • Ready now: Taylor Fedun, Phil Larsen
  • Ready soon: Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Brandon Davidson
  • Ready next fall: Darnell Nurse
  • Who knows: Brad Hunt, Martin Gernat, David Musil

Now that’s an estimate and we have no idea how long it will be before any of these guys can play top 4, but if Klefbom arrives as a top 4D in the spring of 2015 he might be the first. Fair? Maybe Nurse beats him but that’s really aggressive. No, I think if Klefbom gets called up after Christmas, plays 40 games this season as a 5-6, and then another 70 or so in 2014-15 that might get him a seat alongside (say) Jeff Petry.

We’ll go with that.

Bottom line: the Oilers current 6 (Smid-Petry, Belov-J Schultz, Ference-N Schultz/Grebeshkov) could see a replacement from OKC at any time, but it’s unlikely and of the callups could play a prominent role.

The Oilers either make do with what they have, or they make a trade. If the Oilers are calling around asking for an upgrade, the chances that other teams are asking after Jeff Petry or Ladislav Smid are very high.

This is a very bad time to be upgrading blue. The cost is insane, and that’s if someone is interested in making a move.

Dangerous times.

 

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79 Responses to "BASS ACKWARDS"

  1. In the Grease says:

    Any thoughts on canning Steve Smith, and getting a new defensive coach as a first attempt towards improving the D ? – it feels like J. Schultz is going backwards in his defensive play, N. Schultz has deteriorated, and Ference hasn’t been up to par overall… not that I could readily name a suitable replacement who I’d like to see come in other than Charlie Huddy, but Smith is not really Eakins’ guy – could there be some kind of disconnect going on ? Really expected this years D to be better, especially with the added depth ….. sigh.

  2. Bos8 says:

    Erring on the side of caution – I’ve always gone with Steve Smith the con ductor.

  3. Young Oil says:

    Hanzal gets suspended for two for his hit on Petry…I’m surprised he got suspended when Clifford only got a fine. Clifford’s looked like much more of an intent to injure than Hanzal (while Hanzal’s hit was by no means clean).

    Clifford’s ‘hit’ IMO was no different than Hall on Clutterbuck last year. How the hell did the zebras not even make a call?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Head hits. The NHL is going to end them.

  5. regwald says:

    Lowetide:
    Head hits. The NHL is going to end them.

    But getting punched in the face is okay. In fact, it is considered part of the game. Part of the code.

    I am happy to see the elimination of head shots. It’s long overdue. Just admit, fighting is part of the same issue. That is all.

  6. Lowetide says:

    regwald: But getting punched in the face is okay. In fact, it is considered part of the game. Part of the code.

    I am happy to see the elimination of head shots. It’s long overdue. Just admit, fighting is part of the same issue. That is all.

    I agree, but the NHL moves slowly. Glacier like.

  7. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Hanzal was a repeat offender.

  8. Racki says:

    Re: Defensive coach, Huddy is still getting props, with Winnipeg. I am unsure why the Oilers ever let him go.

    As far as a d-man, I’m sure the price is high.. I don’t know. I heard a caller on TSN 1260 mention Tyler Myers, and lots of others have brought his name up.. I actually think that would be a smart option. The Oilers will “never get Shea Weber” or any of those other big names, so they should roll the dice on a player who could be that big name D but just needs some polish. Myers’ contract is risky, but I think it would be worth taking a shot at it. Myers has the tools needed to be the kind of d-man this team needs.. it’s just a matter of getting the confidence, and bringing it all together.

    Unlike some others, I also think it’s crazy that people want to shoo Smid away.. no thanks to that. The D should be Smid, Petry, Belov, J. Schultz, our #1 in training (Myers), and Ference.

    Also, Bachman showed us last night just how terrible the goaltending has been (he gave us a taste of what good goaltending looks like).. and the Oilers did a great job of showing just how terrible defensively they are.

    The Oilers have one of the best assets out there that they should make available for a trade… the first overall pick in 2014…. (with any luck it won’t end up being that, but it isn’t a longshot to think it could be).

  9. fifthcartel says:

    Not sure if it’s been brought up but interesting quote from Stauffer’s blog on the Oilers website.

    On the injury front it is possible that Hall and Gagner, who finished 1-2 in team scoring last season, could be back within the next two to four games.

    And BobMac expecting Gagner back soon as well could be a nice boost.

  10. Racki says:

    Young Oil:
    Hanzal gets suspended for two for his hit on Petry…I’m surprised he got suspended when Clifford only got a fine. Clifford’s looked like much more of an intent to injure than Hanzal (while Hanzal’s hit was by no means clean).

    Clifford’s ‘hit’ IMO was no different than Hall on Clutterbuck last year. How the hell did the zebras not even make a call?

    I think I have to agree with DeBrusk….. basically on that play, clifford had a hit lined up on Nuge, and Nuge went into evasive mode… it was more from Nuge’s actions that he got kneed than from Clifford’s actions. This is why he just got a fine… really, I’m not even sure a fine is warranted.. I know it is all bad because a) Nuge could have seriously got hurt and b) it was a knee and c) it’s nuge! But ya… I don’t know if I’d say it was malicious hit.

  11. Jon K says:

    I’m not a civil lawyer so maybe someone can chime in and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the NFL settlement was a precedent establishing liability for professional sports leagues that do not take steps to prevent lasting head injuries to their players. Bettman was a lawyer before he was the commish and nothing moves lawyers like liability.

    It may or may not be the reason, but I’d speculate that the increased focus on punishing all headshots (and fighting next) stems directly from the NHL’s fear of getting hit by a mega lawsuit down the line, like the NFL did. The ridiculous penalty for removing your helmet before a fight would seem to corroborate this.

  12. G Money says:

    Damn I posted my Hanzal / Clifford comment in the old thread!*

    Hanzal – two game suspension, minor penalty

    Clifford – max fine under CBA, no penalty

    Because NHL reffing. Because Oilers. Because Bettman.

    That is all.

    * Mutters to self “get with the times, G Money, get with the times. Darn that LT and his constant new threads.”

  13. Lowetide says:

    Jon K:
    I’m not a civil lawyer so maybe someone can chime in and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the NFL settlement was a precedent establishing liability for professional sports leagues that do not take steps to prevent lasting head injuries to their players. Bettman was a lawyer before he was the commish and nothing moves lawyers like liability.

    It may or may not be the reason, but I’d speculate that the increased focus on punishing all headshots (and fighting next) stems directly from the NHL’s fear of getting hit by a mega lawsuit down the line, like the NFL did. The ridiculous penalty for removing your helmet before a fight would seem to corroborate this.

    This. I expect that’s what keeps them up at night.

  14. ashley says:

    Young Oil,

    Far more egregious was the vicious punch to the head Perron got from Greene in front of the Kings net. He was not expecting it and his head snapped back. I’ve seen less severe “head shots” with elbows get 5 game suspensions and end the recepient’s season with a concussion.

  15. Ryan says:

    Wow. What a start to the season… It feels like just yesterday that I was swishing back a fine playoff kool-aid that LT was serving here….. :)

    Fast forward to today and the playoffs are a pipe dream… It’s still October.

    1. Was it just me or did the Kings game look like some bad rendition of a father-son peewee hockey game?

    I know we like to make fun of guys like Spector, but lordy the Oilers could use some size in their top nine.

    2. Yakupov… he can sure rifle the puck at short range but he certainly ain’t beating anyone 1:1 any time soon–is he?

    3. Justin Shultz didn’t looks this brutal in his zone last year? I swear he didn’t.

    It’s going to be a long wait till the draft boys…

  16. Canadas Jamaican says:

    I am a bit concerned that Dillon Simpson will go the UFA route with all of these D prospects log jammed ahead of him…I remember reading a J Willis piece about him trending like Petry, who is our best D man at the moment

  17. godot10 says:

    Why Tyler Myers when the Oilers have a better cheaper Taylor Fedun option in OKC? One bets the rebuild taking on Myers contract. With the OIlers D pipeline, it would be foolish to do so.

    The right answer to a Taylor/Tyler debate is Taylor. We all know that! -).

    I’d like to see Ference and Fedun ASAP, along with JSchultz and Belov, and Petry and Smid.

  18. Racki says:

    Racki: I think I have to agree with DeBrusk….. basically on that play, clifford had a hit lined up on Nuge, and Nuge went into evasive mode… it was more from Nuge’s actions that he got kneed than from Clifford’s actions. This is why he just got a fine… really, I’m not even sure a fine is warranted.. I know it is all bad because a) Nuge could have seriously got hurt and b) it was a knee and c) it’s nuge! But ya… I don’t know if I’d say it was malicious hit.

    Actually after watching it again a few more times, I am not so sure anymore… at first I didn’t think he left the knee out, but I think now he did (Although I don’t believe most people think of kneeing someone.. it’s typically a reactionary thing more than thought out).

  19. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki: Actually after watching it again a few more times, I am not so sure anymore… at first I didn’t think he left the knee out, but I think now he did (Although I don’t believe most people think of kneeing someone.. it’s typically a reactionary thing more than thought out).

    I think it was pretty reactionary. After Ryan Jones fought him, I didn’t see Oilers players going after Clifford later in the game, even when there were opportunities. He and Perron collided late and gave each other a tap afterward. I don’t think Clifford is a dirty player, a la Sean Avery. I still think you have to call it a penalty, maybe even a major. Ryan Smyth was guilty of hits like this the last couple of years. You know he’s not trying to injure. Shit happens. Still, he was given the 5 and game for one of them.

  20. godot10 says:

    In an interview, I saw Darnell mention that he does extensive video review with a coach in the Sault. Do the Oilers have anyone doing extensive video review with JSchultz?

    Situational awareness and decision-making is Justin Schultz’s greatest and only weakness, IMHO. Putting him in the pressbox is just moronic brain dead old school coaching. I think video work on situational decision-making is the main thing that is required to “fix” Justin Schultz.

    If he played Junior B, and US college hockey, he just hasn’t played enough games to hone his decision making. At lower levels, it didn’t matter because of his immense skill and talent advantage. Sort of like Paajarvi, who make it to the NHL basically on pure talent without a clue how to actually play his position.

  21. godot10 says:

    theres oil in virginia: I think it was pretty reactionary.After Ryan Jones fought him, I didn’t see Oilers players going after Clifford later in the game, even when there were opportunities.He and Perron collided late and gave each other a tap afterward.I don’t think Clifford is a dirty player, a la Sean Avery.I still think you have to call it a penalty, maybe even a major.Ryan Smyth was guilty of hits like this the last couple of years.You know he’s not trying to injure.Shit happens.Still, he was given the 5 and game for one of them.

    Didn’t Nick Schultz level him with a clean body check?

  22. regwald says:

    godot10:
    In an interview, I saw Darnell mention that he does extensive video review with a coach in the Sault.Do the Oilers have anyone doing extensive video review with JSchultz?

    The season before the lockout where Petry and Smid where a great shutdown D pair, Petry credited the time spent with Steve Smith in the video room for some of his huge improvement on the ice. He said that the two of them would spend hours reviewing video and talking about what Petry saw on the ice when he made certain reads, etc.

    If they did it for Petry, you can bet they do that with lots of players. Now if Justin S. is as dedicated or as ready for the learning, that’s a different story. I just don’t think it is an issue of not being done.

  23. Racki says:

    regwald,

    godot10,

    It’s been mentioned ad nauseum how much the Oilers spend with Oilers players in the video room, so yes, J. Schultz does spend time on video with coaches.

  24. theres oil in virginia says:

    godot10: Didn’t Nick Schultz level him with a clean body check?

    Does Nick Schultz “level” anybody with a body check!? Hehe. I must have missed it. When, roughly?

  25. Racki says:

    theres oil in virginia: u

    It was a pretty beauty hit.. and I want to say it was even on Clifford. I think he got hit hard a few times that game. I don’t remember when it was, but it will show in the stats pages.

  26. Rondo says:

    Interesting question at OHL prospects site.

    http://ohlprospects.blogspot.ca/2013/10/early-season-top-30-for-2014-nhl-draft.html

    “How does Darnell Nurse compare to Aaron Ekblad .

    Who has the higher upside in the NHL?”

    Brock Otten replies:

    Like Anthony, I too believe Nurse has a higher upside. Nurse is the better forward skater and puck rusher and is a more athletic defender. He’s also the more naturally physical player. Ekblad is tough to play against, but Nurse plays with a more consistent edge and seems to enjoy that part of the game more.

    Ekblad is actually the better power play quarterback right now though IMO. Does a better job of making decisions with the puck on the point and gets his shot through. Defensively they’re pretty identical except for the fact that Nurse is the more consistently physical player.

    I think it was Craig Button who recently compared Ekblad to Chris Phillips and I like that one. He’s going to play a long time in the league and he’s going to eat a ton of minutes, but he’s probably never going to be someone you consider among the best defenseman in the league. While Nurse has a higher “bust” potential, he also has the potential to be considered in that “top defenseman” category due to his growing ability to play both ends.

  27. theres oil in virginia says:

    Racki: It was a pretty beauty hit.. and I want to say it was even on Clifford. I think he got hit hard a few times that game. I don’t remember when it was, but it will show in the stats pages.

    Wow! He “leveled” him open-ice at the blue-line. Then after the play was over he skated over to him and gave him a good shoulder bump. Good job SchultzO.

    EDIT: 2:58 3rd period. nhl.com game tracker lists all the hits and who hit who. Thanks Racki and Godot10.

  28. wheatnoil says:

    Jon K:
    I’m not a civil lawyer so maybe someone can chime in and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the NFL settlement was a precedent establishing liability for professional sports leagues that do not take steps to prevent lasting head injuries to their players. Bettman was a lawyer before he was the commish and nothing moves lawyers like liability.

    It may or may not be the reason, but I’d speculate that the increased focus on punishing all headshots (and fighting next) stems directly from the NHL’s fear of getting hit by a mega lawsuit down the line, like the NFL did. The ridiculous penalty for removing your helmet before a fight would seem to corroborate this.

    This is what Elliotte Friedman is saying as well…

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2013/10/patrick-kaleta-appeal-process-could-backfire-on-patrick-kaleta.html

    “Quietly, the NHL, concerned about litigation as much as anything else, is working very hard to enforce the game as much as the rulebook allows. It held a conference call with the general managers, demanding players be told to keep their helmets on during fights. We’ve now seen instances where linesmen, when possible, jump in to stop fights when helmets are about to be removed.”

  29. Melman says:

    Lowetide,

    Totally agree. One thing I find interesting is that there is all the chatter with the NFL settlement on concussions, the angst about fighting in hockey causing concussions but zero on it with the UFC. I’m not a UFC fan, but I do know there is gigantic money being made by the men who run it and a lineup around the block of guys who will be dealing with all sorts of post-concussion issues.

  30. Melman says:

    In looking at your list LT, if we assume Klefbom and Nurse aren’t going to be traded (MAYBE Klefbom if there’s a big trade for a D coming back) how many of Fedun, Larsen, Marincin, Davidson
    Gernat & Musil will have to be shipped out for Simpson to sign with Edm.? I’m almost inclined to say 3. Trouble is the team could trade 3 D prospects for F and, heaven help us G depth, but Simpson could still walk a la Schultz because he can’t sign until after his season is done.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Melman: Gernat & Musil will have to be shipped out for Simpson to sign with Edm.? I’m almost inclined to say 3. Trouble is the team could trade 3 D prospects for F and, heaven help us G depth, but Simpson could still walk a la Schultz because he can’t sign until after his season is done.

    Tough to know. Oilers have these guys signed for another year (Marincin, Davidson, etc) so Fedun and say 2 of Potter/Larsen/Hunt is probably enough. Fedun probably has an NHL job next season, although I don’t know how big his window of opportunity will be.

  32. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    Putting him in the pressbox is just moronic brain dead old school coaching.

    Many young players have said watching a game from up top with a coach helped them understand how much time they have (or don’t have) in certain situations and that they have benefited from it.

    Having a player who has less than a full season under their belt watch a game from above isn’t brain dead or moronic.

  33. Woodguy says:

    If you can stomach the length of the contract, Erhoff is still a good 1LD with lots of offence.

    Has played the toughs on awful BUF teams and managed to keep his corsi black for the most part.

    Here’s his WOWY’s for the last 2 years with BUF. http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=366&withagainst=true&season=2011-13&sit=5v5

    Cap hit of $4MM for the next 7 years (he’s 31) and the last 3 years are $1M/yr so who knows if he’ll actually play them so you need to worry a bit about cap recapture.

    If Reiger is collecting 1st this year, what would you have to add to Laddy and EDM 1st to get Erhoff?

    This assumes he wants to come here, he has a NMC now and limted NTC later.

    Also,

    This draft class is supposedly shallow compared to the last 2 years.

    Regier is following the Oilers/Lowe model and will collect a pile of first in a week draft class.

    I guess this would be 06/07 for BUF.

    Only 7 more years and they can be where the Oilers are!

    Also,

    Talking to someone who knows things and I guess the shine is off Grigorenko in BUF.

    They don’t think he’ll pan out and they might try to trade him as he may leave the NHL after his ELC.

  34. speeds says:

    Let’s say EDM were to end up with a top 3 pick, and management were going to pick from the following two options. Which would you prefer?

    1- Draft Ekblad

    2-Draft Reinhart/Nylander, trade Yakupov for the best D they could get

  35. Lowetide says:

    I choose #1. Unless Reinhart shows he’s a better prospect than Nail at the same age (and I don’t think he’s posting those kinds of numbers) then it’s the defenseman.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Well now, I guess he is posting those kinds of numbers.

  37. stevezie says:

    Woodguy,

    Interestingly the “weak” 07 draft turned out quite strong.

  38. wheatnoil says:

    speeds:
    Let’s say EDM were to end up with a top 3 pick, and management were going to pick from the following two options. Which would you prefer?

    1- Draft Ekblad

    2-Draft Reinhart/Nylander, trade Yakupov for the best D they could get

    What about Option 3-Keep Yakupov, trade the pick for the best D they can get?

  39. speeds says:

    wheatnoil,

    I deliberately left only those two options to avoid other scenarios, including the one I’d tend towards – keep Yakupov, draft Reinhart.

  40. David says:

    Woodguy,

    If Buffalo is selling Grigorenko we should be all over that. Always liked the player a lot.

  41. Woodguy says:

    stevezie:
    Woodguy,

    Interestingly the “weak” 07 draft turned out quite strong.

    Good point.

    Just had a look and I like 14 of the top 30. Only 1 that the Oilers took though.

    Best MTL draft of the century.

    12. McDonagh
    22. Pacioretty
    43 Subban

    That’s very good.

    Still can’t believe that Gainey gave up McDonagh in the Gomez trade.

  42. David says:

    speeds:
    Let’s say EDM were to end up with a top 3 pick, and management were going to pick from the following two options. Which would you prefer?

    1- Draft Ekblad

    2-Draft Reinhart/Nylander, trade Yakupov for the best D they could get

    If we have the first overall pick take Reinhart. He’s going to be very very good. Wouldn’t trade Yak though.

  43. Woodguy says:

    David:
    Woodguy,

    If Buffalo is selling Grigorenko we should be all over that. Always liked the player a lot.

    37gp 1g 5a 6pts playing the softs.

    I wouldn’t jump yet.

  44. Woodguy says:

    speeds:
    Let’s say EDM were to end up with a top 3 pick, and management were going to pick from the following two options. Which would you prefer?

    1- Draft Ekblad

    2-Draft Reinhart/Nylander, trade Yakupov for the best D they could get

    But how will the OIlers have their 1st?

    Haven’t you used it in an offer sheet yet?
    :)

  45. David says:

    I think the first round of this draft will be strong. Really like the top 10. I hope the Oilers are keeping an eye on Aaron Irving. Have to wait and see where he’ll end up ranking-wise but might be a good second round pick.

  46. David says:

    Woodguy: 37gp 1g 5a 6pts playing the softs.

    I wouldn’t jump yet.

    37gp…

  47. David says:

    Woodguy,

    As long as Buffalo’s not wanting a ransom for him I would definitely trade Gernat for him or some such deal maybe add mid pick.

  48. justDOit says:

    David: 37gp…

    If he’s still eligible for the AHL, I would like to see MacT make a pitch. Give him some time with Nelson, against players other than the best in the world.

  49. Rondo says:

    Ekblad has been compared to Chris Phillips.

  50. wheatnoil says:

    speeds:
    wheatnoil,

    I deliberately left only those two options to avoid other scenarios, including the one I’d tend towards– keep Yakupov, draft Reinhart.

    Ah, well in that case, I choose trade Yakupov and take Reinhart. Too good to pass up Reinhart.

  51. OilClog says:

    Miller, Ott, Erhoff.

    For

    Dubnyk, Arco, Maricin, Omark, Simpson.

    I only say this because all this who we drafting talk is depressing.

  52. Lowetide says:

    young Willis just posted an interesting item on twitter

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/deployment?team=edm&pos=F

  53. sliderule says:

    The oilers have the worst tandem of goaltenders in the nhl and everyone wants to sell the farm for Myers or Erhoffs.Thats the bad contract Myers and Erhoff.

    Most of our defensive problems rest on the goalies

    MacT knew the problem but he will have to show patience until a team with a problem that one or more of our defensive prospects other than Nurse can fix will deal a top prospect goal tender.

    If that doesn’t happen the oil are going to stay in a world of hurt

  54. elpolodiablo says:

    Lowetide,
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/league-of-denial/

    Counterintuitive as it may seem, the NFL got themselves in this this trouble because they felt denying the problem exists would prevent the class action lawsuit. Tagleaboo who was the NFL commissioner prior to the current one was a lawyer. The scientists on the NFL side bring up a valid point as it is difficult to weed out how much of the problems are secondary to contact sports vs. possible steroid use vs. possible substance abuse. It’s a messy subject.

  55. Aitch says:

    If MacT is worth anything as a GM he finds a way to turn all of these okay d-men and high-end prospects into better versions. Make the call on Belov and Schultz. Put “Do Not Touch” stickers on Klefbom and Nurse and then start dealing. Smid’s tradeable, but if you pair him up with Simpson, can you get a better version of Smid? Petry certainly has worth, but if you attach his wagon to Marincin what can you get in return? You might have to throw in a couple of draft picks to make it entice someone into giving up at least one legit top 2 d-man. I’m not imagining a couple of Pronger-esque deals, but he needs to get at least one ‘em close.

    In two years, you’d be looking at:
    Ference, Belov, Schultz, Better-Smid, Better-Petry, Klefbom & Nurse as the Top 7.
    That seems attainable to me.

  56. Racki says:

    Lowetide:
    young Willis just posted an interesting item on twitter

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/deployment?team=edm&pos=F

    a) Holy sheltered, Yak.

    b) Poor Gordon. I don’t think even Horcoff was whipped that hard. But good on him for doing the uphill battle and looking good doing it. What a pick up that was!

  57. misfit says:

    Woodguy:
    If you can stomach the length of the contract, Erhoff is still a good 1LD with lots of offence.

    Has played the toughs on awful BUF teams and managed to keep his corsi black for the most part.

    Here’s his WOWY’s for the last 2 years with BUF. http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=366&withagainst=true&season=2011-13&sit=5v5

    Cap hit of $4MM for the next 7 years (he’s 31) and the last 3 years are $1M/yr so who knows if he’ll actually play them so you need to worry a bit about cap recapture.

    If Reiger is collecting 1st this year, what would you have to add to Laddy and EDM 1st to get Erhoff?

    This assumes he wants to come here, he has a NMC now and limted NTC later.

    I actually don’t mind the Ehrhoff contract too much (I don’t like the idea of a 38 year old defenseman with a $4M cap hit though). Because of the salary remaining on his deal, any potential recapture penalty will land on the Sabres regardless of where he plays from here on out. If the Oilers traded for him, they wouldn’t have any years where they get a “cap savings”, so I don’t think they’re subject to the penalty if he cuts it short.

    At least I think that’s how that penalty works.

  58. wheatnoil says:

    Racki: a) Holy sheltered, Yak.

    b) Poor Gordon. I don’t think even Horcoff was whipped that hard. But good on him for doing the uphill battle and looking good doing it. What a pick up that was!

    I’m going to be SO pissed when Oilers fans run Gordon out of town!

    “Remove the Stone of Shame! … Attach the Stone of Triumph!”

  59. Andy P says:

    I know it’s fun discussing trading virtually everyone on the roster for a wide assortment of apparently better alternatives, but I’m suggesting that with all the churn this team has gone through in the last 6 month, anything more than the selective problem solving that MacT is doing, could end up to be counterproductive.

    For the first time since the rebuild started under Dumbellini the pieces are finally starting to come together, and be the 31st game we should have a good, competitive team in place, bar the continuing string of injuries. Get all the top players back on the roster, and play the full 60 minutes like the first 2 periods against the Kings, and I think we will have a team to get excited about, that has at least a 50% or even 60% chance of winning games for the rest of the season.

    Just Sayin’

  60. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    young Willis just posted an interesting item on twitter

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/deployment?team=edm&pos=F

    Whoah Gordon. 19% OZ starts. Figured that might be some kind of record, but Adam Hall had 15% last year in 37GP. Konopka 2nd fewest OZ starts both years at about 24%. Life is difficult for some.

    Also noticed that Nolan and Clifford currently have the highest and 4th highest OZ starts in the league (82.6 and 68.9%). Interesting stuff.

  61. Big Dan says:

    That was the worst game the Oilers have played since the Vancouver debacle, and yet I’m all smiles.

    This team has played a lot of good games – just good enough to ‘not win’ because of shoddy goaltending.

    Ah, Richard Bachman. Like Mike Morrison (10-4-1 in 2006) or Steve Passmore (6 games in 1999) or Norm Foster (10 games in 1992), you are the lovable #3G that the fans and players will rally around.

    I feel a winning streak coming on, now that we have “ok” goaltending.

  62. wheatnoil says:

    misfit: I actually don’t mind the Ehrhoff contract too much (I don’t like the idea of a 38 year old defenseman with a $4M cap hit though).Because of the salary remaining on his deal, any potential recapture penalty will land on the Sabres regardless of where he plays from here on out.If the Oilers traded for him, they wouldn’t have any years where they get a “cap savings”, so I don’t think they’re subject to the penalty if he cuts it short.

    At least I think that’s how that penalty works.

    You’re right! Capgeek has a handy recapture calculator and if you use it and trade Ehrhoff to the Oilers and have him retire before the end of his contract, the Oilers would receive no penalty and instead the penalty goes to the Sabres.

    It could end up being a disaster for Buffalo, as if Ehrhoff retires just before his last year (2020), Buffalo would be hit with a $10 million penalty in the 2020-21 year!

    This is why Buffalo won’t trade Ehrhoff. They’ve already spent $18 million of his $40 million dollar contract. Now they only owe $22 million over 8 years. If they’re short on cash, why trade the guy you’ve already spent your money on?

  63. wheatnoil says:

    To answer Woodguy’s original question: I think it would cost Smid, the 1st and Marincin. You’ve got to put a solid D prospect in there. Yes Buffalo’s getting a solid D-man in Smid, but Smid costs almost as much as Ehrhoff now, so you don’t get much savings for a lesser product. The first could potentially be quite high though. Buffalo might take less if they think the 1st could give them a second lottery pick.

  64. mc79hockey says:

    I’m not a UFC fan, but I do know there is gigantic money being made by the men who run it and a lineup around the block of guys who will be dealing with all sorts of post-concussion issues.

    The NFL has assets that creditors can seize, like franchises and stadium leases and rights to be part of the NFL. UFC is pretty much just a brand. They probably aren’t too worried about what happens in a decade. If they were sued by ex-fighters, they could just declare bankruptcy and Dana White could start again.

    Threats of litigation only change behaviour when the litigation is actually a threat to the entity.

  65. Thinker says:

    I just want to point out how many injuries there have been with all those knuckle draggers playing this year. Also, you know who the first guy to jump in last game was? Ryan Jones. The four line needs players like him. Able to score a little, and work like hell. In today’s nhl, players aren’t scared of Steve MacIntye, because they know he can’t touch him. The only people who might pull up on a hit are Ratis Ivannans types, who are non factors in a game. The average rat has nothing to fear. Players must stand up for themselves in today’s nhl, or they must exhibit team toughness. Ie garner steps in for nuge. This team needs a defensively capable 4line to give the other lines a break. Thats how teams with during tight portions of their schedule, by taking the pressure off their stars, so that they can sustain their high quality of play over back to back games.

    Hard to keep arco, but harder to trade him. Gagner is the superior player, but man is arco good all around. Maybe he is a fit on the 3b line. The team really needs another left wing next year to push perron into a 3line role(man thats a good 3line). I want to see lander step into an nhl role next year, I think every team needs 5c at any given time. Also would consider bringing back hartikainen, as he’s had quite the year. Or maybe we pick up another defensively capable defensive forward.
    1A Hall RNH Eberle 17-20 a night
    1B LW Gagner Yakupov 17-20 a night
    3A Perron Gordon Hemsky 10-13 a night
    3B Joensuu Arobello Lander 10-13 a night
    Hartikainen/defensive forward

    There is a big hole on the top pairing, which wouldn’t be a huge problem if we had 6 top 4 guys, but we don’t. Petry smid are like a 25-35 pairing. So it would be best to push them down. Ference is a third pairing at best, which we could have guessed from the summer. Schultz could be a 15-20 dman in time. Nurse is in the same boat as Shultz. I see Klefbom as another Smid. I would love to see the team add a great dman, but it is a lot to ask. Belov might be able to stick on the long hall. The other d prospects will have to duke it out for a spot. They will have to force a trade of someone above them. THis is what I think the d Should look like in three years. Hopefully ference disappears by then
    XXX Use
    Petry Shultz
    Belov Smid
    Ference

    Dubnyk is a good goalie, but I see him as an any moog. He is really good, but he just isn’t the star that the team will need when the time comes. We’ve seen teams win with worse goalies(fleury, Crawford, Niemi), but I just don’t think Dubie’s the guy. The team should be searching for an upgrade in net. That’s why I wouldn’t be opposed to taking a shot on bryzgalov, you never know with goalies. The oil should keep dubnyk, and just bring in a new backup with potential every year, until they find one who is “THE GUY”
    1A???
    1B Dubnyk

  66. Hammers says:

    Face it we all like Smid but he is probably the only “D” man we can hang out there for an upgrade . Greb & N.Schultz may at best go come the deadline but for picks not players . Smid plus any 1 of Klef ; Marachin ; Fedun would get you an upgrade . McT has to decide how important it is to make the playoffs this year .Problem is its only worth it for at least a #2 or maybe a #3. The other part is will any of those 3 be better than Smid and how long will it take .

  67. Lowetide says:

    I’m not sure what a 25-35 pairing is, but I can’t see any of the Oilers defensemen currently in their employ (at all levels) turning into a better tandem than Smid-Petry when healthy before 2016.

    And I don’t really think it’s close. I like Belov, and Schultz the younger is a really good offensive player (how he gets the puck through on the PP so well is beyond me) but they’re not going to challenge the top pairing.

    The kids are going to be interesting, but they’re years from taking over.

  68. Thinker says:

    Lowetide,

    I meant is you were to rank all the pairings in the nhl, Petry-Smid would be a bordeline top pairing. I designed my Defense looking to 2016, because they are still developing, and the holes that are there now won’t neccesarily be there in three years time. JScultz will figure out the defence in time, and when he does he’ll be much better than petry, which pushes the latter into a second pairing role. Nurse is sort of a wildcard, and I could see him being anywhere from a number two to a number 4. Use is supposed to be nurse. I think either nurse of Schultz become that number two guy like whitney in his prime that we really need. Smid just seems more suited to a third pairing to me, because I like my second pairing to jump into the rush more. Belov isn’t my type of 3line guy, but I don’t think ference will be good enough at that time, and honestly ference probably hurts the team at that point.

  69. Lowetide says:

    Thinker:
    Lowetide,

    I meant is you were to rank all the pairings in the nhl, Petry-Smid would be a bordeline top pairing. I designed my Defense looking to 2016, because they are still developing, and the holes that are there now won’t neccesarily be there in three years time.JScultz will figure out the defence in time, and when he does he’ll be much better than petry, which pushes the latter into a second pairing role. Nurse is sort of a wildcard, and I could see him being anywhere from a number two to a number 4. Use is supposed to be nurse. I think either nurse of Schultz become that number two guy like whitney in his prime that we really need.Smid just seems more suited to a third pairing to me, because I like my second pairing to jump into the rush more. Belov isn’t my type of 3line guy, but I don’t think ference will be good enough at that time, and honestly ference probably hurts the team at that point.

    Ah, I understand. The worry is that (as we know) players don’t develop in straight lines and a player like Justin Schultz is unlikely to make a major step forward as a player (due to age and development). He is, for lack of a better phrase, what he is. Now, as you say, he’ll improve defensively because the game will slow down for him as he passed 100-150 games, but expecting him to be anything more than an average EV/impact PP defender is probably unwise at this point.

    On the other hand, Petry is a fine 2-way defender with a nice range of skills. Now.

  70. dangilitis says:

    Just wanted to point out how it is interesting that Huberdeau is not exactly lighting the world on fire, either, but playing in Florida, he has managed to escape similar ridicule by comparison to the effigy burning of Yakupov in the streets of Edmonton. What’s with these people?

  71. boxman says:

    Lowetide it seems to me there has been a disproportional number of suspensions and fines for cheap shots against the Oilers compared to other teams. Am I just being a homer??

  72. slopitch says:

    I think Nultz and the 1st for Erhoff gets it done. Oilers pick looks like lottery now but wont be later. Im always surprised how cheap useful players get moved for by teams that are selling.

    McDonough, Paccoretti, Subban… Lordy.

  73. russ99 says:

    IMO, the team should take the long view on the development of our top defensive prospects.

    Klefbom needs a full year in OKC, and Nurse should get a full year in OKC next season. I think that Marincin will be NHL ready before either of them.

    The playoff chances of the NHL team and the development of our top 3-5 core defensemen (including Justin Schultz) should be mutually exclusive. Quick fixes and rushed players will lead to more pain in the future.

  74. Lowetide says:

    boxman:
    Lowetide it seems to me there has been a disproportional number of suspensions and fines for cheap shots against the Oilers compared to other teams. Am I just being a homer??

    I agree, but it’s probably just average. SEEMS like there’s a bounty, though.

  75. russ99 says:

    Lowetide,

    LT – I also think physically maturing and the increase in size that comes with it also affords J. Schultz a further chance to upgrade his game, especially on the defensive side of the ice.

    Many of our players will play a more complete game at ages 25-28 than they do now. Gagner’s the old man of the bunch at age 24. Eberle and J. Schultz are 23. Yak just turned 20.

    I wonder how many we’ll punt by then due to lack of patience? Maybe MacT/Eakins’ real failing this year is taking a bunch of 19-24 year olds and trying to play them like they’re 27.

  76. boxman says:

    Three out of sixteen suspensions this year have been for offences against the Oilers and the league saw no reason to suspend players for the knee shots on Nuge and Hall. We better start scoring on the power play soon as clearly teams are trying to intimidate us. Damn them!

  77. Lynas1 says:

    mc79hockey:
    I’m not a UFC fan, but I do know there is gigantic money being made by the men who run it and a lineup around the block of guys who will be dealing with all sorts of post-concussion issues.

    The NFL has assets that creditors can seize, like franchises and stadium leases and rights to be part of the NFL.UFC is pretty much just a brand.They probably aren’t too worried about what happens in a decade.If they were sued by ex-fighters, they could just declare bankruptcy and Dana White could start again.

    Threats of litigation only change behaviour when the litigation is actually a threat to the entity.

    Agree.

  78. spoiler says:

    misfit: This assumes he wants to come here, he has a NMC now and limted NTC later.
    I actually don’t mind the Ehrhoff contract too much (I don’t like the idea of a 38 year old defenseman with a $4M cap hit though).

    In 7 years, $4M individual cap hit will be a much smaller percentage of total team cap hit.

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