TOO MUCH BLUE?

For the first time in their history, the Edmonton Oilers are about to graduate too many defensemen and may eventually have to offload some before losing them to waivers. If we make a list of players who can reasonably be described as “legit” NHL players/prospects 23 and under (and playing pro in North America), we get this:

  1. Justin Schultz (23)
  2. Phil Larsen (23)
  3. Brandon Davidson (22)
  4. Martin Marincin (21)
  5. Oscar Klefbom (20)
  6. Martin Gernat (20)
  7. David Musil (20)

The club also has Darnell Nurse (18) and Dillon Simpson (20) on their way to pro hockey. The five best prospects on the list (to my eye Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, Gernat, Simpson) represent an outstanding group, several of whom could join Justin Schultz along with Smid, Petry and others at the NHL level someday soon.

The Oilers have some pressing needs (goaltending is a major organizational issue) and it’s unlikely all of these young men will have their careers with the Oilers. The reason this is of interest for me is because of the news out of Toronto in Elliotte Friedman’s 30 thoughts yesterday:

  •  14. There is definitely some level of conversation going on between other teams and Toronto involving Jake Gardiner. I despise the word “shopped,” as it’s more like a feeling-out process. If the Maple Leafs do decide to do it, it’s going to be for a young asset or assets. So, you have to look at teams with talented young players. This is PURELY my speculation, but if teams like Dallas, Florida or Minnesota would be interested, you could see a match.

I don’t think Toronto and Edmonton match up (Oilers have splendid young forwards, but don’t have such abundance they can trade one for Gardiner, whose skill–while considerable–is duplicated on the current Oil roster), but do believe the Oilers will one day be in the same position. It could come next fall when:

  • Klefbom may have an NHL job
  • Nurse could be pushing for an NHL job
  • Marincin should be pushing for an NHL job

The club has Andrew Ference and Ladislav Smid under contract next season, and both Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry will be RFA (all others UFA). The Oilers are spending $6.75M cap hit on Smid/Ference next year, and it’s going to cost a pretty penny to get Justin Schultz under contract (with Petry’s deal being dear, too).

Will Craig MacTavish trade one of the “big four” (Smid, Petry, Ference, J Schultz) by next summer, elevating one or more of Klefbom, Nurse or Marincin? Or will he instead sign the RFA’s and slow play Marincin and Klefbom while sending Nurse back to junior?

It’s a question that is still months away from needing an answer, but it’s very important to get it right. Thoughts?

(photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)

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136 Responses to "TOO MUCH BLUE?"

  1. russ99 says:

    It’s nice to have so many young defensemen, so we shouldn’t be rushed into a hasty decision.

    I believe their play will tell the tale, with Klef getting a one-year test period before the Oil could consider trading him, and Nurse 2-3 years. Otherwise IMO, they’re all tradable with Schultz, Smid and Marincin at bottom of the list in order.

    If Petry doesn’t up his play level, he’s a trade candidate at the deadline. Otherwise let them all play and see which ones are keepers after substantial games are played.

  2. David says:

    Musil won’t ever make it. I ‘d be willing to trade Gernat as part of a package. We must not let Simpson escape us the way Shultz left Anahiem.

    My number one reason for optimism this season was I believed the Defense would be better. So far Petry has been not very good, Smid just ok and Ference just above Smid. I think they need time to adjust to Eakins systems but they don’t look good.

    We need Nurse soon.

  3. BlacqueJacque says:

    The depth actually affords us the luxury of being able to send Nurse to OKC next season (if he’s eligible. Is he?), and get some of that “seasoned prospect” Detroit feel. I wonder what it’s like.

  4. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    The depth actually affords us the luxury of being able to send Nurse to OKC next season (if he’s eligible.Is he?), and get some of that “seasoned prospect” Detroit feel.I wonder what it’s like.

    No, Nurse would need to spend two seasons in the OHL (which I think would be best but seriously doubt it happens).

  5. thejonrmcleod says:

    I don’t think you should look to trade any of these four in the summer. Wait until the young guys play so well that they force you to make a trade.

  6. Lowetide says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    I don’t think you should look to trade any of these four in the summer. Wait until the young guys play so well that they force you to make a trade.

    While true, you also have a budget to worry about and possibly an expensive goalie to sign via free agency. If Marincin (as an example) is ready for top 6D that means he could replace Nick Schultz’s $3.5M cap hit while costing only $730,000 cap hit.

    That’s a major savings, and allows the team to spend the dollars elsewhere (either for the goalie or signing J Schultz and Petry).

  7. thejonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide
    Nick Schultz isn’t one of the big four you mentioned above. I wouldn’t hesitate to trade him in a sensible deal.

  8. Bar_Qu says:

    Personally, just because there is so much good D in the system and he will cost so much to keep, I would sign Petry over J. Schultz. In fact, I would trade J. Schultz at the deadline for whatever help he can garner (sell high). I think Petry will get a much lower cap hit and provide nearly all the bang for the buck J. Schultz would.

    Then you have the core to let the younger guys come into the league at a reasonable pace and still stay under the cap. JMO

  9. Shingen says:

    Interesting that on the TSN intermission show (COL vs TOR), the panel (including McKenzie) just speculated that the Oilers are looking for additional help on defense, to address the goals against issue evident in the first 3 games.

  10. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lowetide,

    See, I have to disagree there.

    That’s the ONE thing I don’t like about the CHL development path. 19, 20 year olds beating up 16 and 17 year olds on a regular basis isn’t good experience.

    If I were the NHL, I’d be willing to move the draft eligibility age up a year if it meant that I could send prospects to the AHL if I felt they were ready that same year.

    It’s why I prefer college as a development path. And I know, college players see less ice time, but they get more training, more rest, more practice, and are at less risk of injury to compensate, and those are some pretty good mitigating factors. Of course, the NCAA has to screw things up by making stupid rules that all but prevent a player from attending camps.

  11. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    See, I have to disagree there.

    That’s the ONE thing I don’t like about the CHL development path.19, 20 year olds beating up 16 and 17 year olds on a regular basis isn’t good experience.

    If I were the NHL, I’d be willing to move the draft eligibility age up a year if it meant that I could send prospects to the AHL if I felt they were ready that same year.

    It’s why I prefer college as a development path.And I know, college players see less ice time, but they get more training, more rest, more practice, and are at less risk of injury to compensate, and those are some pretty good mitigating factors.Of course, the NCAA has to screw things up by making stupid rules that all but prevent a player from attending camps.

    Agree completely with this.

    Setting the draft age at 19 solves a myriad issues including providing the CHL with more talent, giving NHL a better handle on the development of young players and giving the AHL a boost by allowing talented youngsters the opportunity to develop there.

  12. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Shingen:
    Interesting that on the TSN intermission show (COL vs TOR), the panel (including McKenzie) just speculated that the Oilers are looking for additional help on defense, to address the goals against issue evident in the first 3 games.

    Yeah, it doesn’t really matter if you have 189 4-8 defensemen if you don’t have two defensemen who are bonafide top pairing defensemen.

  13. fifthcartel says:

    Shingen,

    3 for 1?

  14. David says:

    It still hurts we couldn’t get Philly to bite on the Coburn deal. I would love to know how close we were.

  15. David says:

    Bar_Qu,

    Trading J. Schultz would be a terrible move. No way Petry can do what he does.

  16. David says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    I do agree with you but Defense by committee can work. Look at the Devil’s roster in 2011-2012 where they got 102 points and made it to the Stanley Cup finals.

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NJD/2012.html

    No world beaters on that defensive core.

    I’m torn because the Oilers have good defencemen on the way. I thought this current group could hold the tide until then. But I’m not so sure.

  17. John Chambers says:

    The Oilers might have to make a 3-for -1 deal : J Schultz, Gagner, and Klefbom. A huge price, but it can net them a top C or big time defenseman.

    I’m concerned about young Schultz. Ultimately we might be waiting for a long time for him to round into a responsible Dman while he eats up big budget and offers substantial trade value.

  18. David says:

    John Chambers,

    What the Oilers need most if they are going to put together a massive package is a Number One defencemen. But if Gagner is part of the deal then we need to replace him. I can’t really think of a realistic 3 for 1. The big question I’m most interested in for the Oilers Future is which of Eberle or Yakupov gets traded down the road. And when the time comes we have to make the deal count.

  19. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Lowetide,

    See, I have to disagree there.

    That’s the ONE thing I don’t like about the CHL development path.19, 20 year olds beating up 16 and 17 year olds on a regular basis isn’t good experience.

    If I were the NHL, I’d be willing to move the draft eligibility age up a year if it meant that I could send prospects to the AHL if I felt they were ready that same year.

    It’s why I prefer college as a development path.And I know, college players see less ice time, but they get more training, more rest, more practice, and are at less risk of injury to compensate, and those are some pretty good mitigating factors.Of course, the NCAA has to screw things up by making stupid rules that all but prevent a player from attending camps.

    I agree that’s the better plan (sending Nurse to AHL at 19) but it is unavailable to the Oilers, and keeping him in the NHL is a risky business imo.

  20. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    David:
    Dead Cat Bounce,

    I do agree with you but Defense by committee can work. Look at the Devil’s roster in 2011-2012 where they got 102 points and made it to the Stanley Cup finals.

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NJD/2012.html

    No world beaters on that defensive core.

    I’m torn because the Oilers have good defencemen on the way. I thought this current group could hold the tide until then. But I’m not so sure.

    It’s incredibly rare for a Stanley Cup winning team to be devoid of a stud #1D.

    Trying to emulate an outlier has very little chance of success.

  21. Zack says:

    We have quality and depth at defense but unfortuneatly we still lack that number one d-man. I think the best bet would be to package one of the top four + two young assets for that big name D-man, similar to the Pronger deal. I don’t know who we could get but we need a legitimate number one d-man. (J Schultz, Ference, Smid or Petry) + two of (Marincin, Klefbom, Gernat) should bring back a decent return. We could still let the other d-men progress and with the acquisition of our new number one D, we don’t really lose anyone in out top four.

  22. VanOil says:

    The Oilers could package the following defensive 3 for 1. NSchultz (NHL Vet, UFA) Larsen (Puck Moving, RFA) and one of Musil/Germat/Marincin. That is a ready made defensive depth upgrade for a team with limited long term tie up.

    I think the Oilers could make such a trade right now because I think Fedun/Potter are up to the task of baby sitting whichever of the Mad Russians are in the bottom pair. I don’t see any other teams looking to make trades until the deadline because of cap issues. I also don’t know which teams are desperate for defensive depth.

    I think Friedman’s Anvils not Life Preservers is a more rational take on the current trade options for MacT than Mackeinses looking to be bold because of 15 goals against.

  23. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    VanOil:
    The Oilers could package the following defensive 3 for 1. NSchultz (NHL Vet, UFA) Larsen (Puck Moving, RFA) and one of Musil/Germat/Marincin. That is a ready made defensive depth upgrade for a team with limited long term tie up.

    I think the Oilers could make such a trade right now because I think Fedun/Potter are up to the task of baby sitting whichever of the Mad Russians are in the bottom pair. I don’t see any other teams looking to make trades until the deadline because of cap issues. I also don’t know which teams are desperate for defensive depth.

    I think Friedman’s Anvils not Life Preservers is a more rational take on the current trade options for MacT than Mackeinseslooking to be bold because of 15 goals against.

    Can you identify a team that needs 3 marginal defensemen?

  24. nelson88 says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: It’s incredibly rare for a Stanley Cup winning team to be devoid of a stud #1D.
    Trying to emulate an outlier has very little chance of success.

    Is this where you tell us that the Canucks have 4 of them?

  25. Shingen says:

    Perhaps Philly’s in a spot to tear it down and revisit the Coburn trade? I mean, at this point would it surprise anyone if they made an knee-jerk deal right now?

  26. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    nelson88: Is this where you tell us that the Canucks have 4 of them?

    No, this where I tell you that, among other things, the Canucks might have won a cup if they had a #1D.

    They are likely the poster child for D by committee and, while they have 6 very good ones, I would think if Chara had been a Canuck rather than a Bruin, things likely would have turned out differently.

  27. David says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Oh I totally agree. But the problem is that there are only three ways to get one.

    1.) free agency – Problems this is not something you can bank on. Superstar defencemen rarely make it to free agency and when they do they are going to cost 8-9 million dollars and have every team in the league kicking tires while 5 or 6 big hitters get into a bidding war. Also Edmonton isn’t a prime free agency landing point.

    2.) trade – problem is that teams don’t trade their young or middle aged star defenseman that still has several years left on their contract. If they do, it’s going to cost dear. Are the Oilers willing to part with Yakupov, J. Schultz, and a first? Or something of similar value?

    3.) draft – problem is that you never know for sure, especially with defencemen. It also takes time and the Oilers are in need of the top pairing D now.

    In the end I do believe that a Chris Pronger is worth whatever price you pay (outside of stupidity of course) but the difficult spot the Oilers are in is that they have Nurse and Schultz who could be very very good and so they could get the top pairing D man without paying the hefty fee. Of course Nurse and Schultz still need time but also we don’t know what we have in Yakupov or in Eberle for that matter.

  28. Shingen says:

    Tim Thomas left the Florida game due to a lower body injury. Personally glad that MacT didn’t sign him, although I think goaltending could become a bigger focus than defense.

  29. VanOil says:

    Since we all here know about what the Oilers currently have to offer I will take a stab a defining the Anvils I would not like to see come back in any trade;

    No Goalies making more 5M or over the age of 30

    No Defensemen over the age of 30 with more than 2 years left on there contract.

    No slow footed forwards or defensemen no matter how truculent they are.

  30. VanOil says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Can you identify a team that needs 3 marginal defensemen?

    The Oilers of the last 7 years comes to mind but I don’t think that helps

    N.Schultz is the type of Dman that normally gets you draft picks back at the deadline. Other wise prospect are prospects. I am not sold on looking for a stud Dman. I am just looking to balance out our line up an depth.

  31. nelson88 says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Well we can agree on that. Other than perhaps the part about the Canucks having “6 very good ones”. ;)

  32. David says:

    Shingen,

    Until Dubnyk struggles for a longer period of time this is the correct assessment:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6344

    What the Oilers need more than anything else and what would improve the team more that anything else is a Norris candidate defenseman.

  33. Lucinius says:

    As much as the Oiler defense hasn’t been great (or even good at times), I don’t think its fully on them for the goals against. A lot of the turn overs were due to forwards (hello, Taylor Hall), bad goaltending, or various players out of position (both defense and forwards) and simple lack of effort.

    Oilers don’t need a true #1 defenseman right now (it’d be fantastic to have one, mind you, and help a lot of issues); they aren’t worried about being a cup contender this year (or next). They need to become a playoff team first — and once you get to the playoffs you just never know what will happen, period.

    What the OIlers need is the players to buy into the system, work hard and as a team. And some better goaltending so 1-3 bad goals aren’t occurring every game.

  34. Ice Sage says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: It’s incredibly rare for a Stanley Cup winning team to be devoid of a stud #1D.

    Trying to emulate an outlier has very little chance of success.

    DSF has a funny definition of ‘stud’

    That Montador sure was unreal in ’06, right
    ? Dan BOyle for Tampa Bay
    ? Gonchar for Pittsburgh

    J Schultz can be these guys

  35. David says:

    Ice Sage,

    Dan Boyle was a damn good defenseman.

  36. mumbai max says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Personally, just because there is so much good D in the system and he will cost so much to keep, I would sign Petry over J. Schultz. In fact, I would trade J. Schultz at the deadline for whatever help he can garner (sell high). I think Petry will get a much lower cap hit and provide nearly all the bang for the buck J. Schultz wou

    Then you have the core to let the younger guys come into the league at a reasonable pace and defence. He is

    This talk of trading J Shultz reminds of when Paul Coffey struggled as a young D and there were calls to trade him. Give the kid a break. He is going to be a top two D

  37. David says:

    I know we all hate Chris Pronger. The guy’s a turd, but do we remember watching him all that year? He was the best D pair in the league all by himself. Simply incredible what a Pronger or Lindstrom or Chara or Bourque can do for a team.

  38. BlacqueJacque says:

    David:
    I know we all hate Chris Pronger. The guy’s a turd, but do we remember watching him all that year? He was the best D pair in the league all by himself. Simply incredible what a Pronger or Lindstrom or Chara or Bourque can do for a team.

    We don’t hate him, we’re just bitter we got dumped.

  39. Lucinius says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    No, some of us hate him.

    But some of us hate almost everyone.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Pronger was awesome. I loved him as an Oiler, it hurt when he left.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    mumbai max: This talk of trading J Shultz reminds of when Paul Coffey struggled as a young D and there were calls to trade him. Give the kid a break. He is going to be a top two D

    People are stupid.

    Lowetide: it hurt when he left.

    Gretzky hurt more.

  42. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909: People are stupid.

    Gretzky hurt more.

    As did Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Coffey, Moog and the rest.

  43. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: and the rest.

    I thought Pronger was about as good as Messier on the Oilers.

    Pronger took a team of bums and castoffs to the finals, to 7 games practically all by himself.

  44. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide: As did [...] Moog and the rest.

    Really? The loss of a very good 1A goalie, who left behind a Hall-of-Famer and a team in front of him that could still fairly be called “dynastic”, hurt more than the loss of a franchise defenceman who had played an integral part in getting us within one game of winning the Cup, after fifteen years without even a sniff? The decision that Grant Fuhr was going to be the clear number one moving forward hurt more than the sense that 2006 was going to turn out to be a one-off in the middle of a generation of futility, and not a return to contention after so long in the wilderness?

    I wasn’t old enough to remember Moog leaving, but I’m skeptical of your claim.

  45. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909: I don’t remember anyone crying when Kevin Lowe left.

    He was definitely on the downside, but Lowe was loved as a player by the fanbase.

  46. hunter1909 says:

    “I thought Pronger was about as good as Messier on the Oilers.”

    Obvious comparison sample size viz games played, cups won etc taken into consideration.

  47. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”: Really?The loss of a very good 1A goalie, who left behind a Hall-of-Famer and a team in front of him that could still fairly be called “dynastic”, hurt more than the loss of a franchise defenceman who had played an integral part in getting us within one game of winning the Cup, after fifteen years without even a sniff?The decision that Grant Fuhr was going to be the clear number one moving forward hurt more than the sense that 2006 was going to turn out to be a one-off in the middle of a generation of futility, and not a return to contention after so long in the wilderness?

    I wasn’t old enough to remember Moog leaving, but I’m skeptical of your claim.

    Using hyperbole obviously, but you have to remember there was a major part of the fanbase who felt (and still feel) Moog was the better goaltender. Moog was enormously popular going back to the Habs series years earlier and when he left a lot of fans were unhappy, not just about his leaving but about his not being given the #1 job.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: “Steve Smith”: Really?The loss of a very good 1A goalie, who left behind a Hall-of-Famer and a team in front of him that could still fairly be called “dynastic”, hurt more than the loss of a franchise defenceman who had played an integral part in getting us within one game of winning the Cup, after fifteen years without even a sniff?The decision that Grant Fuhr was going to be the clear number one moving forward hurt more than the sense that 2006 was going to turn out to be a one-off in the middle of a generation of futility, and not a return to contention after so long in the wilderness?
    I wasn’t old enough to remember Moog leaving, but I’m skeptical of your claim.

    Did Steve get into the liquor cabinet again?

  49. bookje says:

    According to the Score, the Oilers are looking to upgrade their defense.

  50. VanOil says:

    I can confirm that I thought Moog was the better goal tender. I thought Fuhr was a bit of a show off and prone to giving up softies from long range. I admit my view is coloured by that amazing series win against the Habs.

  51. Lowetide says:

    Houck with a goal +2 on the night so far

  52. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    David:
    Ice Sage,

    Dan Boyle was a damn good defenseman.

    Dan Boyle IS a damn good defenseman…better than any Oilers even at the age of 37.

    Sergei Gonchar in his prime was easily a top pairing defenseman.

    Anyone who brings up Montador in ’06 is likely sniffing glue.

  53. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Ice Sage: DSF has a funny definition of ‘stud’

    That Montador sure was unreal in ’06, right
    ? Dan BOyle for Tampa Bay
    ? Gonchar for Pittsburgh

    J Schultz can be these guys

    Can he?

    Watch him in his own zone.

    He makes Jack Johnson look like Larry Robinson.

  54. bookje says:

    “Steve Smith”: Really?The loss of a very good 1A goalie, who left behind a Hall-of-Famer and a team in front of him that could still fairly be called “dynastic”, hurt more than the loss of a franchise defenceman who had played an integral part in getting us within one game of winning the Cup, after fifteen years without even a sniff?The decision that Grant Fuhr was going to be the clear number one moving forward hurt more than the sense that 2006 was going to turn out to be a one-off in the middle of a generation of futility, and not a return to contention after so long in the wilderness?

    I wasn’t old enough to remember Moog leaving, but I’m skeptical of your claim.

    Yes, it hurt more. I was young and Moog was awesome, even the name ‘Moog’ – awesome. Hockey was everything then, girls hadn’t even been invented yet- at least not the good kind. When Pronger left, I was accustomed to my team losing and was old enough to know it was just a game (and a business).

    Pronger leaving was just a thing. Those real Oilers leaving was traumatic!

  55. Lowetide says:

    I met Moog, nice guy. Really short.

  56. David says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Justin Schultz isn’t going to be the worlds best defensive defenseman but amidst the chaos are some great defensive plays, especially with his stick. And the idea that a 23 year old D with only 51 games of NHL experience can’t drastically improve in his own end is silly.

  57. Bushed says:

    Lowetide,

    I met Fuhr. Nice guy. Also short.

  58. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    David:
    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Justin Schultz isn’t going to be the worlds best defensive defenseman but amidst the chaos are some great defensive plays, especially with his stick. And the idea that a 23 year old D with only 51 games of NHL experience can’t drastically improve in his own end is silly.

    At Schulz’s age, Jack Johnson scored 8 goals and 42 points but was -21.

    We’ll soon see if Schultz can better those numbers.

    I would wager Schultz might come close on all accounts.

  59. Zelepukin says:

    best case scenario for me would be trading:

    N.Schultz + any OKC player(s) outside of Klef, Larsen, and Fedun for a top 4 Dman

    if that’s even possible. 1st pairing Dman we’d almost certainly have to dangle our 1st overall pick.

  60. spoiler says:

    Lowetide said:

    (goaltending is a major organizational issue)

    The Tide has turned!

    Lol… I was floored when I read those words, considering the source.

    This is the first official mention of this is an article, and if so, it is a bigger and more pressing issue than what are we going to do with this cornucopia of defensemen at some point in the future when it matters.

  61. BlacqueJacque says:

    Bushed,

    Moog is shorter.

    I went to hockeydb to check their stats out, and Moog was 5’9. 5’9! These days, you can’t be a towel boy at 5’9.

  62. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    Lowetide said:

    (goaltending is a major organizational issue)

    The Tide has turned!

    Lol…I was floored when I read those words, considering the source.

    This is the first official mention of this is an article, and if so, it is a bigger and more pressing issue than what are we going to do with this cornucopia of defensemen at some point in the future when it matters.

    I didn’t mean Dubnyk, I meant prospects, etc. I’m fine with Dubnyk. Honest.

  63. Lucinius says:

    To get a first pairing d-man, without giving up one of the five (Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, J. Schultz), the deal would have to be something like (as a framework);

    Smid or Petry + Klefbom or Marincin + Gernat + 2014 1st round pick + 2015 first round pick.
    or
    Smid or Petry + Nurse + Klefbom or Marincin + 2014 st round pick.

    That’s your likely starting point in negotiations. Personally? I’d question it, depending on the guy coming back and just how good of a first pairing guy is coming back.

    I’d also wait at least a year before trying to trade for that d-man. Why? Lock up J. Schultz at a good deal if possible could make it pretty attractive as the main piece going the other way and save on assets leaving. Also gives you more time to see what Klefbom and Marincin are and to improve their trade value.

    But, honestly? I don’t see it happening without the Oilers getting absolutely robbed. True #1 d-men just aren’t available unless you’re willing to overpay in assets and possibly dollars. The Oilers need to have a home-grown solution, which is entirely possible considering the d-prospects we’ve got. Its just not worth it for this team currently, imo, to make that trade due to how many assets you have to give up. In another year? Things could be different.

  64. Racki says:

    Zelepukin:
    best case scenario for me would be trading:

    N.Schultz + any OKC player(s) outside of Klef, Larsen, and Fedun for a top 4 Dman

    if that’s even possible. 1st pairing Dman we’d almost certainly have to dangle our 1st overall pick.

    I think the Oilers have enough “top 4″ d-men types (arguable, anyways). I think they really could use that top pairing guy more than anything. Unfortunately they won’t get it by hanging on to all of the kids plus Klefbom and such. I wouldn’t consider Larsen untouchable or Fedun either. Although I really like Fedun, let’s face it.. if you’re getting a top D-man back.. “Fedun who?!”

    That said though, it will cost the Oilers quite a bit to get a top pairing d-man, you’d have to think. How many of you would fast track D development by moving say Klefbom plus for a guy in his mid-late 20s that is already established? I think for the right guy I definitely would, so long as the cap situation made sense.

    Basically the Oilers need their next Pronger.. the guy that owns the blueline and calms the whole team down whenever he’s out there. That’s probably Darnell Nurse 5 years from now (one can hope anyways). I don’t think anyone wants to wait that long (in no way am I saying trade Nurse, however!).

    This year’s first definitely should be up for grabs in this type of deal.

  65. Zelepukin says:

    Plus no one is going to give up their #1 or #2 d-man this early in the season unless it was so lop-sided like you couldn’t say no. Second pairing, maybe but only if they have strong third stringers.

  66. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: I didn’t mean Dubnyk, I meant prospects, etc. I’m fine with Dubnyk. Honest.

    You had me worried there!

    As for the org, I think goalie development is less a straight line than any other position. Also, goalies aren’t hard to find, IMHO.

    As for the fire hose of defensive prospects, I think one will be gone in a trade some time this year and likely one other will lose his way due to injury. Musil might also find himself in the ECHL next year. And Gernat has a certain enigmatic, mercurial air wafting around his development. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but the smell is there.

  67. Kris11 says:

    Buying a good Dman doesn’t have to be THAT expensive if he is older and has only one or two years left before UFA status, especially if he is overpaid.

    Next year’s 1st plus Marincin plus N.Schultz is a decent package. What you get back is the question, but it could be good. For a lesser D man, reduce the 1st to a second or cut out Schultz, or offer even less, maybe Schultz and a 3rd, for a slight upgrade on Schultz.

  68. Kris11 says:

    Dealing your next first rounder is the boldest move, IMO. It means you have to finish well this season or else you screwed up.

  69. Lowetide says:

    Chase with another goal. Man. He’s really doing it! 6, 7-1-8

  70. Brackenburied says:

    I don’t see us needing to go after a ‘stud’ defense man. We probably don’t have a Pronger coming up anytime soon but how about a couple of these guys becoming a Keith/Seabrook like pairing.
    I think there is little doubt that Scholdtz is gone at the deadline for a pick. And maybe MacT can talk someone into a major overpay for Petry. Even at fair market value Petry gets you something good. I’m a fan of Petry but if your talking trade value, he’s your man.

  71. Lucinius says:

    Old Man Jagr gets a goal on the Canucks. Didn’t someone say in yesterdays game thread that only the Oilers would lose him, given his age and speed?

    Neverminding the fact he’s probably one of the most physically fit players in the league, irregardless of age. The guy can still move and physically dominate. Was a sequence against the Canucks where he basically shrugged off Bieksa, then Kessler, then Bieksa again.

  72. TheOtherJohn says:

    Not sure the Oiler D prospects are as promising as most here believe. We will certainly see if you are right over the next 2-3 years. Expect Marincin is the closest to making the jump and we will see if he is capable of becoming a top 4 D. Klefbom is behind where most Oiler fans expected but is understandable with all of his injuries over the last 3 years. Gernat has lots of chaos to his game and Musil’s foot speed will be a nonissue or he has no NHL career.

    Believe Nudse will be a real player but that may be 2-3 years away

    Would have hoped J Schultz was committed to working on his defensive game. Have not seen that alone. Very good offensive skills. Fear he will be K Yandle. If so, he’s $4.5m player so that’s good but looks capable of being top player

  73. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Chase with another goal. Man. He’s really doing it! 6, 7-1-8

    I’m a little concerned about that scoring balance though. A lot of goals (which is nice, I mean I’m not insane) but almost no assists. My take on it is that he is agitating right in front of the net on many of them and ends up Johnny on the Spot with his stick on the ice.

    Not that this is a bad thing, but the beauty of Reider’s progress for instance was that he was scoring on EV and PK and helping to create offense amongst his linemates as well.

    Its a long season, so let’s hope Chase keeps up the good play, but as strange as it sounds, I’d like him to create a little more offense to spread around.

  74. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: I’m a little concerned about that scoring balance though. A lot of goals (which is nice, I mean I’m not insane) but almost no assists. My take on it is that he is agitating right in front of the net on many of them and ends up Johnny on the Spot with his stick on the ice.

    Not that this is a bad thing, but the beauty of Reider’s progress for instance was that he was scoring on EV and PK and helping to create offense amongst his linemates as well.

    Its a long season, so let’s hope Chase keeps up the good play, but as strange as it sounds, I’d like him to create a little more offense to spread around.

    Just picked up an assist! (ears burning?) :-)

  75. TheOtherJohn says:

    Think Pronger is the best D man in Oiler history. When he was on the ice, bad things rarely happened. Master of the long stretch pass. Absolutely superb defensively. Very very mean SOB. The day he left our team was 15-20% worse

  76. David says:

    RexLibris,

    I think you need to rethink what you just said. Goals are what we want. And it’s real early.

    If you still feel the same way remember that he had 32 assists in 69 games last year as a 17 year old mostly at evens. Plus he just got another assist.

  77. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Just picked up an assist! (ears burning?)

    Fine then. I’ll say it again (let’s see if this really works)…Greg Chase needs to score four more goals, three assists and register two fights to get my attention!

    wait for it…..

  78. David says:

    RexLibris,

    Just to put it another way, there is no reason to see anything but positives about a player taken in the seventh round who is starting the season with 6, 7-2-9. Nothing but positives.

  79. RexLibris says:

    David,

    Yes, goals are what counts, but few players are talented enough to create those scoring chances on their own, in a vacuum so to speak. Chase isn’t that talented (don’t get me wrong, at this point in his development I am completely in his corner) and I’m hoping that a bit of creativity and playmaking is in his repertoire as well evidenced by assists.

  80. jp says:

    David:
    John Chambers,

    What the Oilers need most if they are going to put together a massive package is a Number One defencemen. But if Gagner is part of the deal then we need to replace him.

    They could always look into trying Hall at C.

  81. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I didn’t mean Dubnyk, I meant prospects, etc. I’m fine with Dubnyk. Honest.

    Oilers will trade for Miller (career .915 goalie with one very good year) in January then sign him long term for $4.5MM

    He’ll be heralded as the saviour goalie over DD (career .912)

    One of these Dmen will be part of the package.

    Book it.

  82. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: Oilers will trade for Miller (career .915 goalie with one very good year) in January then sign him long term for $4.5MM

    He’ll be heralded as the saviour goalie over DD (career .912)

    One of these Dmen will be part of the package.

    Book it.

    Okay, but at what point does he go for season-ending shoulder surgery?
    ;)

  83. Lucinius says:

    Miller is one of the most over-rated goalies in the league.

    So.. yeah, probably happen. We’ll trade Dubnyk, Marincin and a third for him or something.

  84. FastOil says:

    David:
    I know we all hate Chris Pronger. The guy’s a turd, but do we remember watching him all that year? He was the best D pair in the league all by himself. Simply incredible what a Pronger or Lindstrom or Chara or Bourque can do for a team.

    While these things are true, a couple of good centres from out west “ran Bourque’s show”. Not all strong teams have an eilte D. Not all strong teams have an elite goalie. All strong teams have at least one elite C.

    I think the Oilers are far more hampered by having only one better than average centre, with respect to Gordon.

    The only weak defensively players I give a pass to have elite, dominant offense as in JS and Yak. If a player isn’t unstoppable, meaning they aren’t consistently a threat to score against any team, the player has to be good 2 ways or they are a net detriment. They aren’t pulling enough weight. To win consistently a team has to put constant pressure on the opponent – there can’t be passengers.

    A great example is Gagner. He had his best offensive output and his worst season hand in hand.
    A step back. He needs to be far better for the team to step forward. As the centre he needs to be able to dominate his opponent and he’s not playing toughs.

  85. David says:

    FastOil,

    Good thing we have The Nuge.

  86. Gerta Rauss says:

    I wouldn’t dismiss the Gardiner opportunity so quickly. He would fit on this roster this year without much fuss at all($1.1M) and we all know that Nultz is gone at the deadline(or before).

    You can worry about the salary cap next summer-the default is to trade Smid but with some creativity(and maybe the cap goes up) you can make it work.Having too many NHL D men is a good problem to have.

    Gardiner helps this team right now-I’d move any one of the young D not named Nurse.

    For me the story isn’t how he fits into our cap structure,it’s that he’s (apparently) available at all.

  87. jp says:

    Lucinius:
    To get a first pairing d-man, without giving up one of the five (Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, J. Schultz), the deal would have to be something like (as a framework);

    Smid or Petry + Klefbom or Marincin + Gernat + 2014 1st round pick + 2015 first round pick.
    or
    Smid or Petry + Nurse + Klefbom or Marincin + 2014 st round pick.

    That’s your likely starting point in negotiations. Personally? I’d question it, depending on the guy coming back and just how good of a first pairing guy is coming back.

    But, honestly? I don’t see it happening without the Oilers getting absolutely robbed.

    I don’t disagree with you, but what the hell happened in the Pronger trade? One of the top D in the NHL for Brewer, Lynch and Woywitka – you never know what deal could be out there. Brewer was an established top 4 and the others were good prospects at that point, but that was one hell of a trade for the Oilers. That’s in the ballpark of Petry, Klefbom and Marincin for a 31 year old Pronger (and keep in mind we all knew Lynch was damaged goods at that point). That would be a pretty easy trade to make now – too bad that kind of a deal isn’t likely to come along again any time soon…

  88. Bar_Qu says:

    mumbai max: This talk of trading J Shultz reminds of when Paul Coffey struggled as a young D and there were calls to trade him. Give the kid a break. He is going to be a top two D

    I stake my position less on J Schultz’s upside (which I agree is massive) and more on the potential skewing of the salary cap. I disagree emphatically with DCB/DSF that defence by committee is unfeasible Carolina made two appearances in the finals in 02 and 06 with D by committee, TBL in 04, Devils in 03. So I think with a slew of good D, at an affordable cap hit, the Oilers could be a contender for a long while.

    I don’t know if they get that kind of affordability with Schultz even on the next contract.

    Just to be clear, I think the Oilers keep him and he does great things. And I will cheer all the way.

    But I do wonder: what good players will it cost them?

  89. jp says:

    FastOil: While these things are true, a couple of good centres from out west “ran Bourque’s show”.

    Not related to your comment, but it reminded me of this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vOd2TYop38

  90. Lucinius says:

    jp,

    Simple; the Oilers robbed another team blind and the hockey gods were so dismayed they over-corrected. hence the Pronger trade from the Oilers and the years since.

  91. FastOil says:

    hunter1909: I thought Pronger was about as good as Messier on the Oilers.

    Pronger took a team of bums and castoffs to the finals, to 7 games practically all by himself.

    I can’t believe the Pronger love. He was dominant in the beginning but was weaker each round, the puck wasn’t moving out nearly as well, especially in the final. Maybe he was hurt I don’t remember. He was a great (only one Norris) great player but let’s not get carried away.

    Lady Luck is who carried the Oilers to the final. Until she nut punched us.

    Equal in contribution at least to CFP IMO was a guy who went head to head with the best centres around and bettered them. If the puck is always in your end I don’t care which psycho is playing D, it’s going to end up in your net. Oh yeah, there was a goalie doing pretty good as well.

    Pronger won the Cup next year but there was this guy named Niedermayer there as well. He was ok. Conn Smyth or something. Who drove the bus?

  92. FastOil says:

    jp: Not related to your comment, but it reminded me of this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vOd2TYop38

    Incredible (French accent)

  93. FastOil says:

    David:
    FastOil,

    Good thing we have The Nuge.

    The one elite C

  94. TheOtherJohn says:

    Have no difficulty with the Oilers going with the same sort of D by committee that the Devils used in 03. So far we are only short a 28 year old Scott Niedemeyer (top 3-4 D men in world), a 29 year old Brian Rafalski (who we hope JSchultz develops into) and a 38 year old Scott Stevens.

    Don’t think Comittee means what you think of when you ID NJD in 02/03

  95. FastOil says:

    Speaking of trades Holmgren is very likely in one of his unstable moments.

  96. TheOtherJohn says:

    Fast Oil

    He played 28 min TOI in regular season and 31 TOI in the playoffs. That’s so good cardio Eakins would do presses suggesting we have to cut his minutes back. Oonents get tougher further you go and ge had 21 points in 24 games and was plus 10 playing 1/2 the game

  97. Lowetide says:

    If the Oilers are going to trade for a stud defender, I think Phaneuf might be a candidate. Leafs have (apparently) too many great defensemen, and we know the contract negotiations aren’t going the Kessel route.

    Maybe there’s a deal there, but not Gardiner. Oilers need a defenseman who can play the position and move the puck up smartly.

  98. BlacqueJacque says:

    Phaneuf is on the downswing. Wrong side of 30, played a physical role for a long time and hasn’t shown much of it in recent years. Smarter than he was, but just as his brain develops, his body has slowed down. Solid, but not elite.

  99. FastOil says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Fast Oil

    He played 28 min TOIin regular season and 31 TOI in the playoffs. That’s so good cardio Eakins would do presses suggesting we have to cut his minutes back. Oonents get tougher further you go and ge had 21 points in 24 games and was plus 10 playing 1/2 the game

    I know he was really good, it’s just sometimes hyperbolic. He was a great defenseman. Many guys played the best hockey of their careers. And they were REALLY lucky all along the way. The fading out I saw would be the overuse, same as Chara last year. Pronger didn’t win the CS the following year, another D was seen to be better.

  100. FastOil says:

    Lowetide:
    If the Oilers are going to trade for a stud defender, I think Phaneuf might be a candidate. Leafs have (apparently) too many great defensemen, and we know the contract negotiations aren’t going the Kessel route.

    Maybe there’s a deal there, but not Gardiner. Oilers need a defenseman who can play the position and move the puck up smartly.

    Larsson is in the doghouse in New Jersey. They need a lot of things.

    BJ – Phaneuf is 28 this season. He and Petry would be a much better top pairing.

  101. Andropod says:

    hunter1909,

    Then the bastard took his foot off the gas and we lost game 7.

  102. VanOil says:

    Off topic but LTs RE for Nuge was 62 21-42-63

    Given his early return and increased ice time could this go up up and away. Early days and all but there could be 25% more games played and 40-50% more minutes per game. Playing with a calculator I come to the scientific conclusion;

    Witchcraft may be arising.

    77 35-70-105

  103. spoiler says:

    FastOil: I can’t believe the Pronger love. He was dominant in the beginning but was weaker each round, the puck wasn’t moving out nearly as well, especially in the final. Maybe he was hurt I don’t remember. He was a great (only one Norris) great player but let’s not get carried away

    Dude… He won a Hart. A Hart! How many defensemen have won the Hart since they started awarding the Norris? I can only think of other, and that’s pretty fine company.

    But no one will ever remember Pronger because he was drafted second.

  104. jp says:

    I’m OK with the D by committee approach and waiting for some of the prospects to start contributing.

    IF getting a CFP-like1D is the goal though, I really do think Eberle is the way to get it. Re-sign Hemsky and you’d still have 2 top 6 RWs (and it’s real tough to see Hemsky being re-signed this summer with Ebs and Yak still in town). Hemsky clearly wants to stay in Edm and would likely sign for less than Eberle is making (certainly not more). The current scoring depth is great, but something’s gotta give cap wise if getting a 1D is a priority. Plus you’ve got to give up the assets to get him. I love Eberle, but his trade value is far higher than Hemsky, his upside is less than Yak and his contract is less of a value deal than some of the others. If it means they keep Hemsky (which they otherwise wouldn’t), I’d be all for Eberle as the main part of a deal for a 1D.

  105. Young Oil says:

    Holy hell Hertl is looking like something special. 4 goals on the night, and it’s not even over!

  106. FastOil says:

    spoiler: Dude… He won a Hart.A Hart!How many defensemen have won the Hart since they started awarding the Norris?I can only think of other, and that’s pretty fine company.

    But no one will ever remember Pronger because he was drafted second.

    Me and Andropod think he’s a bum ;)

  107. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Young Oil:
    Holy hell Hertl is looking like something special. 4 goals on the night, and it’s not even over!

    Watching the game…unbelievable talent.

  108. rickithebear says:

    Dmen who faced 1st comp(pairing) and are better than league averaeg 2.33Ga/60 last year
    there are 26 dmen who could handle 1st comp forwards last year.
    Pairs by toughest comp
    1. OEl-michalek PHX
    2. Hjarlmasson-Kieth CHI
    3. Chara-Boychuck BOS
    4. Carlson-Erskine WSH
    5. johnson-Tyutin CBJ
    6. Salvador-Larsson NJ
    7. Smid-Petry EDM
    8. Brodin-Suter MIN
    those not in pair by Comp rank
    #4 Ericsson DET
    #7 Weber NSH
    #13 Oduya CHI
    #16 Shlemko PHX
    #17 Girardi NYR
    #20 Hamhuis VCR
    #23 Fayne CAR
    #24 Polak STL
    #25 Greene NJD
    #26 B. Stauart SJ

    whidch of these group dp we trade for so we can have a top 7 first line d pair?

    NOOOOOOBODY!

  109. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Have no difficulty with the Oilers going with the same sort of D by committee that the Devils used in 03. So far we are only short a 28 year old Scott Niedemeyer (top 3-4 D men in world), a 29 year old Brian Rafalski (who we hope JSchultzdevelops into) and a 38 year old Scott Stevens.

    Don’t think Comittee means what you think of when you IDNJD in 02/03

    That was one hell of committee.

  110. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: I agree that’s the better plan (sending Nurse to AHL at 19) but it is unavailable to the Oilers, and keeping him in the NHL is a risky business imo.

    Maybe it will depend on guys like O’Reilly in TO or a Ristolainen . If they make it this year and Nurse shows a bit more both size wise and talent wise he willstay next year .

  111. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    rickithebear,

    Here’s how we’re doing so far this season Ricki:

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#snip=f

    In other words, on average, every team in the league has 3 defensemen better than Smid.

    P.S. Check Smid’s 59% Ozone starts.

  112. Hammers says:

    Obviously we all seem to be concerned with our “D” and potential trades . Face it PETRY , FERENCE ,J.SCHULTZ are all staying . Seemed to me Belov moved up meaning Smid maybe the trade bait along with a Fedun or Davidson for a player like Colbourne in Philly or Smid / Arcobello for a Tyutin type .N.Schultz will get us a pick at deadline maybe a #2 probably #3 . We need another experienced “D” this year if we can get one . I like Smid but he looks like the only real trade bait we have with another asset. Maybe 2 assets for LT’s 3 for 1

  113. Reg Dunlop says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    So, if Yak pulls a through the legs, embarrass the goalie move will he also be an unbelievable talent? Or will he be a flash in the pan Euro hotdog?

    Dead Cat Bounce: Watching the game…unbelievable talent.

  114. Lois Lowe says:

    A propos of nothing…I think Gagner is going to be much improved at faceoffs this season. The wingers are really stepping in a lot more aggressively so far and it will benefit him.

  115. Bank Shot says:

    Reg Dunlop:
    Dead Cat Bounce,

    So, if Yak pulls a through the legs, embarrass the goalie move will he also be an unbelievable talent? Or will he be a flash in the pan Euro hotdog?

    Both of them have nothing on Sergei Shirokov!

  116. rickithebear says:

    Hammers:
    Obviously we all seem to be concerned with our “D” and potential trades . Face itPETRY , FERENCE ,J.SCHULTZ are all staying . Seemed to me Belov moved up meaning Smid maybe the trade bait along with a Fedun or Davidson for a player like Colbourne in Philly or Smid / Arcobello for a Tyutin type.N.Schultz will get us a pick at deadline maybe a #2 probably #3 . We need another experienced “D” this year if we can get one . I like Smid but he looks like the only real trade bait we have with another asset. Maybe 2 assets for LT’s 3 for 1

    Petry and Gilbert were 3.00 GA Dmen without Smid!

    N. schultz, Petry, Smid, Ferecne have all played 1st comp and Suceeded.
    Belov needs to learn to angle off the boards. But he is still 10 times more affective on outer box pressure. than the GA black hole. No

    No F’n amout of offence can cover that.
    Ference, Petry, J. schultz have been top 40 in even assists.
    Belov is clearly apuck mover.
    Smid and schultz are in the 130′s and up.
    Do not play them together Again.

    N. Schultz-Belov
    Ference-Petry
    Smid- J. Schultz

    Tyutin faced lesser comp, had same ga, less, hits, less, blocks, worseon the Pk nd cost 1.0m more.

    Jesus fuck people!
    Get off the CRACK!

  117. G Money says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    rickithebear,

    Here’s how we’re doing so far this season Ricki:

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#snip=f

    In other words, on average, every team in the league has 3 defensemen better than Smid.

    P.S. Check Smid’s 59% Ozone starts.

    Really? Your counter-argument to ricki’s stats are that Smid – after three games – has middle of the road stats. Really?

    Have you been taking ‘stupid stats’ lessons from DS … oh … wait …

  118. Zelepukin says:

    Hammers:
    Obviously we all seem to be concerned with our “D” and potential trades . Face itPETRY , FERENCE ,J.SCHULTZ are all staying . Seemed to me Belov moved up meaning Smid maybe the trade bait along with a Fedun or Davidson for a player like Colbourne in Philly or Smid / Arcobello for a Tyutin type.N.Schultz will get us a pick at deadline maybe a #2 probably #3 . We need another experienced “D” this year if we can get one . I like Smid but he looks like the only real trade bait we have with another asset. Maybe 2 assets for LT’s 3 for 1

    I’m thinking the opposite. We need another experienced reliable defensive dman to help out Smid and Ference. NSchultz isn’t doing that right now. I can’t see us trading Smid, who is a gutsy, top 5 shot blocker, stay at home d-man, who we just resigned.

  119. stevezie says:

    G Money,

    Yeah it’s no context, but his stats still make sense; Smid is a second pairing defender.

    Is… is that not the consensus?

  120. spoiler says:

    This defense needs to be built around Joltz. The TOI he is getting fed (and some of that is score effect), the verbal Eakins has been giving on him… this is their man. He is an absolutely wonderful skater. So good it is hard to believe he didn’t get drafted higher. Skating like that doesn’t just suddenly develop.

    So they need an absolute stalwart to play hard beside him and cover his forays. A Stalwart who isn’t any sort of liability offensively, especially in the passing skills. Tall order. Is Ference stalwart enough?

    Then they need another pairing that can handle the toughs, get the puck up well, but not necessarily bringing brilliance offensively. Just good solid play. Are Smid and/or Petry those guys?

    This leaves finding yet another calming veteran to introduce and shelter a rookie on the 3rd pairing next year… a Klefbom, Marincin or Nurse.

    Belov, Schultz, Grebs, Potter are all auditioning for that role right now. Ideally though, it’s Petry, I think his skillset lends best to covering for an inexperienced partner. He can cover a lot of ground, lug the puck, make a good pass, play physical, and has great reach.

    Find a stud to take Petry’s former spot–and no I don’t think Nashville is trading Weber, not till Jones has at least a few years under his belt–and I think if we have or can get decent goal-tending, then we’re a contender.

  121. Lois Lowe says:

    A Scott Stevens or Ken Danyeko type for Schultz the Younger would be much like what Niedermayer had with the Devils.

  122. Lloyd B. says:

    J. Shultz is the tradeable piece for a number 1 D. Not at the trade dealine …NOW !! Add what ever other prospects and 1 potential superstar of the kids and we get our #1 D and 3rd and 4th linger wingers we need.

  123. theres oil in virginia says:

    spoiler:
    This leaves finding yet another calming veteran to introduce and shelter a rookie on the 3rd pairing next year… a Klefbom, Marincin or Nurse.

    Yes, definitely. Great 2nd pairing.

    spoiler:
    This leaves finding yet another calming veteran to introduce and shelter a rookie on the 3rd pairing next year… a Klefbom, Marincin or Nurse.

    Schultzo is not this guy. So far this year (early I know), his overall game doesn’t look much better than last year (haven’t seen the dog whistle yet though).

  124. Lowetide says:

    Justin Schultz is not going anywhere, he’s a major part of the future. His defensive game is chaotic but he’s an offensive dynamo and the Oilers are going to ride this guy (and for good reason). Justin Schultz is a helluva player, warts and all

  125. gcw_rocks says:

    I agree with LT in that the Oilers would be wise to trade Schultz and go with the best of Marincin, Klefbom, or Nurse next year for the cap savings. In an ideal world the Oilers would leverage one of these kids in a trade for a top pairing defenceman, pushing Smid down to second pairing. Of course, in an ideal world the Oilers would not have signed Ference to a for year deal with a NMC, do who knows what will happen.

    If the Oilers trade for a 34ish year old Miller, then MacT will have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt he is an idiot. Book that.

  126. Zipdot says:

    I don’t think people should make trade plans without specifically naming the #1 d coming back. We’ve been through this years ago: you cant trade for a number one d. Pronger was a one-off. And if we trade Schultz anyway, the message to free agents is that we might trade them. Not good. Finally, Justin and Darnell will answer our prayers. They will. They will, they will, they will.

  127. Zipdot says:

    Lloyd B.:
    J. Shultz is the tradeable piece for a number 1 D.Not at the trade dealine …NOW !!Add what ever other prospects and 1 potential superstar of the kids and we get our #1 D and 3rd and 4th linger wingers we need.

    Name him. Chara? Lol!!

  128. theres oil in virginia says:

    Completely OT:
    Dan Patrick is blowing the lid off of concussions and the NFL right now. He’s talking about a documentary he recently saw.

  129. Lewis Grant says:

    LT,

    Off topic from the post:

    Last night Tomas Hertl scored 4 goals, bringing him to 6 goals in 3 NHL games.

    This is from LT’s March 2012:

    I do not have the NHLE for Filip Forsberg’s league, so we’ll have to include him out. Alex Galchenyuk was injured for the entire season, so he’s not on the list, either. However, something’s afoot when it comes to marrying NHLE with this year’s consensus top 5 forwards.

    Forwards (per 82 gp)

    Tomas Hertl 19-21-40 (Button has him #22 overall)
    Nail Yakupov 18-22-40 (#1 everywhere)

    So. Question: Who is Tomas Hertl and how slow is he? Even if he’s Yvon Lambert there’s some offense there.

    Looks like this might be another victory for NHLE over scouting consensus, and you seemed to hint that that might be the case 18 months ago. Keep up the good work.

    (No, I’m not saying we should have taken Hertl over Yak. I’m saying that probably a dozen teams wish they hadn’t let him fall to 17th overall.)

  130. russ99 says:

    I can’t believe any Oilers fan would want to trade Justin Schultz.

    There’s a lot of focus on bad play in his own zone, and that happens to all defensemen, especially a guy going into his first full season in the NHL, and adjusting to a different system. The blown coverage on the two-on-one against the Devils was his only really blatant mistake this season.

    I find it telling when most Oiler fans claim he had a horrible game the other night, when the opposing (Hall of Fame) goalie mentioned how good he was.

    I’m curious as to what his metrics are this season…

    When he fills out, toughens up and picks up the tricks of the trade (Ference is vital for that role), IMO he’ll be a Norris candidate.

    As far as being able to acquire elite top defensemen, one poster mentioned Bourque, Lidstrom, Chara and Pronger – only one of those guys was traded in his prime, and in every case the team acquiring Pronger didn’t exactly make out good in the deal, selling all kinds of assets for a 1-2 year shot at the Cup.

    We’re gonna have to develop a top guy from within, and it’s gonna take patience. My bets are on Nurse, Schultz and Marincin being 3 of our top 4 within 3 years.

  131. russ99 says:

    LOL!

    I just checked the stats on Behind the Net and Justin Schultz has the best on-ice save percentage of all our defensemen at .926! He’s also first in relative Corsi and Relative Corsi QualComp.

    Black hole? Hardly…

  132. Lowetide says:

    Russ99: Agreed. I think Schultz is a beauty. Keep him!

  133. TheOtherJohn says:

    Justin Schultz is a marvellous offensive defense men. The question is he a top pairing play all situations D or is he Keith Yandle/Dick Tarnstrom? If the former we have an elite 6th member of maturing core if the latter he we’ll be a good player. His defense last year was atrocious but he was in his first year.
    If he learns to play defense as slowly as it took Smid we only have to wait 3 more seasons

  134. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    russ99:
    LOL!

    I just checked the stats on Behind the Net and Justin Schultz has the best on-ice save percentage of all our defensemen at .926!He’s also first in relative Corsi and Relative Corsi QualComp.

    Black hole? Hardly…

    I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic… but doesn’t having the best ONSV% mean you’ve been extraordinarily lucky?

  135. Zipdot says:

    Justin Schultz = Eric Karlsson.

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