Anton Lander arrived with a special sticker: Defense-first center. That kind of player is going to require some special handling, but the Oilers have not handled him well. People say “do it like Detroit” but that’s like saying “sing it like Ray Charles!” and of course the results were and are predictable: This is why we can’t have nice things.
Anton Lander 13-14
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.21 (16th among forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: nil
- Qual Comp: 13th toughest competition among regulars (fourth line)
- Qual Team: 9th best competition among regulars (third line)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 43.9
- Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -.2
- Zone Start: 40% (6th toughest on the team among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: nil
- Boxcars: 27, 0-1-1
- Plus Minus: -10 on a team that was -51
RE 50, 4-8-12 .240
Actual: 27, 0-1-1 .037
- What do these numbers tell us? He can’t score.
- He scored in the AHL. Sure, got some power-play time and improved a great deal. OKC Lander EV: 43, 8-14-22 .511; OKC Lander PP: 43, 10-16-26 .605.
- So, there’s no hope at all? There’s hope, but he isn’t going to hit a lot, and I don’t know if a center who can’t score is going to have a career in Edmonton. The Oilers aren’t that specialized.
- But he could thrive elsewhere? Yes. Eventually, he should catch on with a team that sees him as a zone start demon and a guy who is worth having on the roster. Teams like Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis.
- Winning teams??!?!?!! Yes.
- Why can’t the Oilers identify him? They could but, it’s difficult to keep all the balls in the air. It’s like building a house and trying to do 15 things at a time: it’s easy to forget the extra light socket in the basement family room, and that your wife wanted the kitchen island situated so she could see through to the park.
- Sounds like you have some experience in the matter. Oh boy.
- So, Lander will have a career, and be effective, but it won’t be here? Yes.
- Dammit! I’m not sure we can get overly angry at the Oilers. Lots of really good centers flushed out of their original team and then found a way to make it after all in a new town. Lander will go to a new town, play in Grand Rapids, pass Landon Ferraro and then get called up at 25. The Oilers are in danger of losing Yakupov for crying out loud, so losing Lander is a minor detail.
- What is his role for next year? He doesn’t have one in Edmonton.
- So he’s GONE!?? Well, let’s see. Gordon is going to be the 4line C, they signed Arcobello to a deal and there are ‘crossroads’ articles in the minor league papers. Yes, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest he won’t be back in the fall.
- Does the coach like him? Eakins: “If (Lander) is going to play here, he has to be able to play centre, he has to play left-wing and he has to play right-wing. He has to be able to step in on the power play and kill penalties. He has to be able to wear a bunch of different hats.”
- Sounds promising!?!!!! Here’s a quick item, learned first hand. When your boss says to (or about you) “If Bob’s going to work here…..” you’re already up to your ass in alligators.
- What does it mean? They’ve decided on his bat. Now they have to decide if they can live with it, and if they can’t he’s gone. Even if he can, the next swinging Dick with hair on his chest is going to take his job.
- How does it end? They offer him a two-way deal, he balks, and the Oilers send him to Detroit for a third round pick.
- That 2009 draft was awful. I don’t agree. Paajarvi will have a career, Lander too. But you have to score more than 8 points in 94 NHL games, or the management is going to question your ability to score in the NHL.
- He’s better than that. And I believe he’ll get a chance to prove it.
- Why this song? It’s about wanting something that’s out of reach, not necessarily forever, but for now.
- Is there a lesson to be learned? Sign them at 20, get serious about them as NHL players toward the end of their entry level deal. Rinse. Repeat.