RE 13-14 JUSTIN SCHULTZ: MOONDANCE

Well, THAT didn’t go well. The short 48-game season and the promise of a new tomorrow led some of us to believe Justin Schultz could handle top four minutes while also jumping into the play 30 times a night. This just in: forget it. There’s an enormous price to pay.

Justin Schultz 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.96 (2nd among regular D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.06 (1st among regular D)
  • Qual Comp: 3rd toughes faced among regular D (2nd pairing)
  • Qual Team: best available teammates among regular D (1st pairing)
  • Corsi Rel: -1.2 (4th best among regular D) (-12.19 CorsiON)
  • Zone Start: 48.1% (2nd easiest among regular D)
  • Zone Finish: 49.5% (3rd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 85/9.41% (best among F’s>30 shots)
  • Boxcars: 48, 8-19-27
  • Plus Minus: -17 on a team that was -15

Justin Schultz 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.88 (1st among regular D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.31 (2nd among regular D)
  • Qual Comp: 3rd toughest faced among regular D (2nd pairing)
  • Qual Team: 3rd best available teammates among regular D (1st pairing)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 42.9
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -2.6
  • Zone Start: 46.5% (3rd easiest among regular D)
  • Zone Finish: 46.8% (3rd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 109/10.1% (best among F’s>50 shots)
  • Boxcars: 74, 11-22-33
  • Plus Minus: -22 on a team that was -51
  1. What do these numbers tell us? Schultz has some major holes. He was unable to wake the power play, and he was a mess for most of the year as a defenseman. Given secondary competition and a zone start push (at least as much as the Oilers could push) he was still below average in the shot differential.
  2. Did he play well with any partners? According to the WOWY he posted 49% with Anton Belov, 44.3% with Klefbom.
  3. Where do we go from here? I don’t know. I think plan B is probably to run him out there for a season with Klefbom.
  4. WHAT? Well, it makes sense stylistically. Klefbom is more of a stay-at-home type, and Schultz can wheel.
  5. But they have NO experience! Well, here at the Canadian School of Learning, we train them up and ship them out!
  6. You can-NOT be serious! I believe MacT will try to land a veteran defender, a stud 25-minute guy, but won’t blow his brains out. He mentioned in his exit interview that if they had to go with youth, they would go with youth.
  7. Who do you think they’ll pursue? Matt Niskanen would be a name we should keep in mind for sure. Dion Phaneuf, Christian Ehrhoff, Marc Staal, Brian Campbell, Dustin Byfuglien, Johnny Boychuk, Mark Fayne. Those are some of the names Edmonton might pursue if they come available.
  8. Who will they get? There’s, incredibly, a lot of talk surrounding Matt Greene.
  9. Will he help? He’s another example of the difficulty MacT-Eakins are having in executing their plan. “Start as you mean to go” isn’t served by saying you want a mobile defenseman and then trading for Mark Fraser, and Matt Greene is from the same family of players.
  10. Will he help? I don’t think the Oilers are wise to add a one dimensional physical presence. Defensemen who have a wider range of skills should be the goal for the Oilers.
  11. Like Darnell Nurse? Sure, Nurse is an example but he’s at least a year away, maybe two.
  12. Is there anyone else in the system who can play tough minutes and be tough at the same time? David Musil plays that style, Brandon Davidson can be physical, but they’re both a little shy on the puck movement side of the ledger.
  13. What about Fedun? What about Fedun?
  14. Maybe he could play that role? Not to be rude, but if the Oilers didn’t call up Fedun and play him 80 games this season, they’re never going to do it.
  15. So Fedun’s gone too? I think so, yes. Now they may sign him to a two-way deal, but he may also have caught someone’s attention. Fedun has been passed by Marincin and Klefbom, with Nurse on the way and Musil, Gernat and soon Simpson on the way.
  16. Dillon Simpson! Maybe he’s that guy! He can play RH side and he’s a shot blocking demon. I think Simpson might be a guy who emerges quickly as an NHL option, but let’s wait until he plays a pro game before projecting him onto the NHL roster.
  17. We should talk about Schultz. Sure.
  18. The Oilers love him. Yes, yes they do.
  19. You liked him last season. Schultz made so many bad reads this season, I seriously wonder about his ability to play the position well enough to avoid being a liability. I understand part of that comes with playing SO MUCH defense—Oilers blue had multiple defensive sorties most shifts—but he got himself into a lot of trouble with his decision making.
  20. What changed from a year ago? Last season, he was a power-play wizard. This season, not so much. That impacts value. Secondly, and as much as I’d like to blame Ference and Nick  Schultz for this, he seemed unable to make decisions at pace. I can’t count high enough to properly describe the number of times he made a poor pass, lost the puck off his stick in the defensive zone, provided genuinely feeble coverage and appeared to be lollygagging with the puck.
  21. That’s his style! Then he needs to change it. If he wants to be the Jesus of Cool he’ll have to do it in his off hours.
  22. So, more urgency. Yes. Sometimes a quick, simple pass to your partner is the better plan. Gives you room to breathe and then make a better pass later in the transaction.
  23. What does MacT see then? A mobile puck mover who can do a lot of things with the puck. There’s no denying his offensive prowess, the question is ‘at what cost?’ and this past season it was dear.
  24. Who will he eventually be paired with? Darnell Nurse.
  25. When will we see that pairing for the first time? If they didn’t play together last pre-season, and I don’t recall, they’ll get some time this fall.
  26. When will we see them in an NHL regular season game together? Stay tuned, it could happen this year.
  27. How would his role be impacted if the Oilers draft Ekblad? They might be able to put Schultz on the third pairing by 2016, but I’d bet Edmonton trades Jeff Petry before the depth gets out of control and starts pushing north.
  28. Cynic. This Oilers management group is allergic to balance. Start sneezing within seconds, throats starts closing, itching everywhere.
  29. Give me a 6D depth chart that includes Schultz and gets the Oilers into the postseason 2014-15. Ehrhoff-Boychuk, Marincin-Petry, Ference-Schultz.
  30. Well that won’t happen. Sure, but two guys on this team to push back the depth chart are exactly what the doctor ordered.
  31. Why Moondance? It’s original—hell, unless you can find ‘fantabulous’ somewhere else there’s a new WORD in there—and it’s a delight to the ears, much as Schultz can be to the eyes. It’s also not quite there: It’s a great evening, and there’s a touch, but there’s more to come, more before the morning. Justin Schultz has more story to write, one hopes it’s as perfect as this song.
  32. What kind of contract will he get? I hate it already.

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47 Responses to "RE 13-14 JUSTIN SCHULTZ: MOONDANCE"

  1. LMHF#1 says:

    I wonder what kind of offers they would get if they offered another team Jeff Petry and Justin Schultz in a package deal. Kind of like Lynch, Woywitka and the pick on steroids.

    I often wonder about bigger moves because this thing doesn’t need tweaking…it needs a new motor. Much as I’d love to have Schultz on the team because of how he came to the Oilers and his obvious talent, a reboot of the blueline is really needed. The Marincin/Nurse/Klefbom/Simpson/Gernat/etc group can be the depth if you go out and add a couple of stars. Otherwise the danger the back line remains mush is high.

  2. Bad Seed says:

    Lowetide, you mentioned on your show yesterday that there were rumours of a major deal between Carolina & Edm. Care to elaborate?

  3. Woodguy says:

    What does MacT see then? A mobile puck mover who can do a lot of things with the puck. There’s no denying his offensive prowess, the question is ‘at what cost?’ and this past season it was dear.

    He also sees someone who bought into his Oilers story.

    We are seeing now the story is more smoke and mirrors than truth, but Shultz bought it and chose them. There is no way he is leaving the Oilers under MacT’s watch. No way, no how.

    There is a huge disconnect with the verbal about Shultz from MacT and the reality.

    Yes, Shultz makes some excellent passes but he gives up so, so, so much more than he creates.

    His ladk of urgency on the PP is a major piss off too. Never in a goddam hurry to do anything and gets beat to pucks 5v4 with a 20 ft head start.

    He’s also never eaten a puck in his life.

    Soft chips up the boards into the awaiting opposition forward happens with regularity and no one has been able to coach him out of it.

    Has anyone even tried to coach him out of it?

    I highly doubt it.

    So we basically have a young Yandle.

    PHX recognized his limitations and kept him away from harm 5v5 and let him do his thing 5v4.

    EDM gets Shultz and plays him more than any other Dman 5v5.

    Why?

    Because Oilers.

    Because Oilers is because they never have balance, never have enough depth, never have a better option, never have a better plan and hope like hell that everyone plays about their established NHL ability, then look at each other and wonder why they lose.

    Because the GM of the team mentions assistant coaches main jobs being “a conduit to successful Oiler teams” while wanting the kids to “become the Oilers” in the same breath.

    Because they want the reward but none of the hard work.

    Because they overpay for “veteran leadership” and don’t pay attention to results on the ice.

    Because they want to employ old friends instead of the best coaches and scouts.

    Because Oilers.

    And by all accounts and all the verbal we’re about to go through another season of watching everyone get slotted above their ability again.

    I can’t wait until they spin a 24st place finish, 13th in West as progress.

  4. Truth Movement says:

    Why “Moondance”?

    Because it’s popular…and terrible.

  5. Halfwise says:

    Our collective delusions as Oiler fans include “This guy is ready for the Show” based on some video clips and a positive story or two about a notable player two leagues down. Jultz is Exhibit A for the defense. Nurse is Exhibit B.

    Time, at bats, seasoning, experience, patience, development… Young rosters can’t deliver consistently against men until they aren’t young rosters any more.

  6. cahill says:

    What kind of contract will he get? I hate it already.

    If it’s more than 4.25 the Oilers are in serious, serious trouble.

    My guess is 4 – 5 years in around 4 million.

    Based on the 2nd Contracts for the following players:
    Shattenkirk 4.25 x 4
    Carlson 3.967 x 6
    Voynov 4.167 x 6

    Schultz is not as good of a defenseman as ANY of those players. And each of those players were further along in their development after their first contract was up.

    But if they can get the same contract that Voynov has it could be a good deal for both the team and the player. In two or three years the cap will go up to 75. 4 million cap hit on 75 million is only 5% of the cap hit. Which is the equivalent of a 2nd pairing dman.

  7. Suntory Hanzo says:
  8. russ99 says:

    Schultz is a quality player. He needs to develop more and the club needs to put him in situations to succeed – not desperately throwing him out there 12 minutes a night because the defense corps is so poor.

    Some may not see defensive improvement, but I have at times, when he’s not in way over his head, which was often.

    LT: What do you see as his ceiling? I think we could get a Visnovsky-level of production out of him within 3 years.

    Also, I’m with you on adding better defensemen to push the depth chart lower. I think we need two top-2 pairing defensemen and one physical Jason Smith clone who plays on both ends of the ice vastly better than Fraser.

  9. Ducey says:

    So we basically have a young Yandle.

    PHX recognized his limitations and kept him away from harm 5v5 and let him do his thing 5v4.

    EDM gets Shultz and plays him more than any other Dman 5v5.

    Why?

    Because Oilers.

    Might as well play the snot out of him 5 x 5. The season was over after 10 games. And its not like the coach had a lot of other options. Plus they were behind all the time. You try and get your offensive guys out more.

    I think Schultz is part of the problem on the PP. They had him as the primary option on the point, often with a forward back there. They gave up lots of shorthanded chances and didn’t really get a lot of shots through.

    When I coach the Oilers I will get MacT to find me a Dman who can play some D and shoot hard. Then pair him with Schultz on the PP. Schultz can do his rover thing trying to set up people and screw up the coverage. Gives you three options, the down low pass it into the net play (the only one the Oilers seem to try currently), the big one timer from the point, and the play thru Schultz once he breaks coverage.

    I am not too worried about Schultz. He started the season with 42 games of experience. Offensive defenseman always take longer. If there were blogs in the 70′s LT would have been complaining about young Paul Coffey’s fancy stats. Sather and the media were all over him. I remember fans swearing at Coffey and talking about his ten cent head.

    He did okay with more experience, and a good partner like Huddy.

  10. denny33 says:

    Good summary on Justin…..

    Like WG – really don’t understand why this organization is always seemingly at a disconnect with how they see their own players and how they deploy these players.

    The only thing I can think is they are trying to send this kid in the deep end and accelerate the learning process…..

  11. Woodguy says:

    Here’s Shultz’ CF% with every Dman he played more than 20 min with:

    FERENCE, ANDREW 42.1
    SCHULTZ, NICK 38.4
    BELOV, ANTON 49
    KLEFBOM, OSCAR 44.3
    MARINCIN, MARTIN 49.6
    FRASER, MARK 42.9
    GREBESHKOV, DENIS 47.4

    Pretty gross, but the Belov and Marincin numbers give us hope that removing Ference from Shultz’ port might help the situation.

    Here is Shultz’ CF% last year with every Dman over 20min together:

    SCHULTZ, NICK 45.4
    WHITNEY, RYAN 36.3
    SMID, LADISLAV 39.5
    FISTRIC, MARK 50.7

    Pretty huge drop off year over year in terms of CF% with Nick. They basically played the same 2nd pairing minutes together from year to year.

    Some of that is on Nick getting older.

    Some of it is probably on the team-wide decline that seems to have a systems component to it.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Truth Movement:
    Why “Moondance”?

    Because it’s popular…and terrible.

    Well done.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Lowdown at 10 TSN1260

    10:05 Jeff Hauser on the NFL draft
    10:45 Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP
    11:00 Kent Wilson, Flames Nation
    11:24 Brock Otten, OHL Prospects

  14. OilClog says:

    I can’t bash on Jultz.

    He delivered in full value in his first season, thanks Ralph.

    And is now useless and broken? Thanks Dallas.

    I can’t remember seeing one complaint about Jultz “eating” pucks under Kruger.. Odd.

    What would Schultz look like with an actual proper partner?

    It’s clear though, the stone has been thrown. Nice knowing you Justin.

  15. B.C.B says:

    I can’t see the Oilers having Petry and Shultz both on the team for more than one more season.
    - First they play the same position when they are in the heart of their career . . . 2nd pairing RH defense man
    - Neither has the ability to become an true top pairing defenseman (monster minutes at even strengthen, and significant minutes on both special teams),
    - Petry is more likely to succeed in a top pairing role than Schultz (better PK ability, and more defensively reliable), but would still need a true top pairing defenseman to play and have a modicum of non-failure with these responsibilities

    Adding to this problem is the actually reality that the Oil face right now
    - The Oil have no internal candidate for #1 LH Defeenseman and Nurse is the best bet but a few years away at best
    - Schultz is a better offensive player that Petry, while Petry is vastly superior play vis-a-vis all things defensive
    - Both are getting paid this summer (Petry with between 4-4.5 million over 5 years, and Schultz is going to be close to the same . . . the latter is a overpay and the former is not, imo)

    So I can see one of two situations unfolding in the Oil blue line
    1) the Oilers trade one of Petry or Schultz (with other parts) for a true #1 RH defenseman
    i.e. Schultz + 3OV pick + prospect not named Oscar/Nurse for PK Subban (+ maybe a contract dump)
    this would put the oilers defense at Nurse/Kelfbom-Subban, Marincin-Petry, Ference-Veteran, Nurse/Kelfbom . . . which is possible decent enough to challenge for a playoff position if everyone is health

    2) the Oilers keep both players and trade a forward (plus parts) for a true #1 LD Defensemen
    i.e. Yak/gagner + 3OV or ’15 1st round + prospect for one of the names that Lowetide listed (lets call him Marc Staal . . . my choice would be Braydon Coburn)
    this would put the oilers defense at Staal-Schultz, Marincin-Petry, Ference-Veteran, Klefbom . . . this is a reasonable bet for being the best defensive group since 2006

    3) The Oiler Draft Eckblad and believe they have to trade one of Petry/Schultz to give him playing time
    this would put the oilers defense at Nurse/Veteran-Eckblad, Marincin-Petry/Schultz, Ference-Veteran, Klefbom . . . this scares the hebegebees out of me

    Either way, the Oilers desperately need a RH Veteran Dman (who can PK and play some significant EV minutes), and I do not think that weakness will be addressed by MacT with both Schultz & Petry on the roster . . . as he is off big game hunting for hat mythical stud on the blueline. Finding this mythical prey will be even harder for MacT because he has two clear number 2 RH defenseman in his roaster and only one position to play them in. Adding to this is that Eckblad would make that number three (since he might be a franchise dman, he is not yet). We can make the argument that only Petry is a #2 RH dman at this point and Schult/Exkblad shold be third pair defense (EV) with some significant PP time. I agree, but I just don’t think MacT is on the same train as me and you, folks.

  16. Woodguy says:


    OilClog:
    I can’t bash on Jultz.

    He delivered in full value in his first season, thanks Ralph.

    Are you sure about that?

    WHITNEY, RYAN 36.3
    SMID, LADISLAV 39.5

    Don’t let facts get in the way of St. Ralph and the Olmypus of 26th in the NHL.

  17. Woodguy says:

    B.C.B,

    I can’t see the Oilers having Petry and Shultz both on the team for more than one more season.
    - First they play the same position when they are in the heart of their career . . . 2nd pairing RH defense man

    Why can’t they have a player who might be good enough for 2RD playing 3RD?

    That is called depth.

    I know its a foreign concept Because OIlers, but having player play below their current NHL ability can result is success.

    Look at SJS’s Right Hand Dmen:

    Boyle
    Braun
    Demers

    Demers is good enough to play 2RD.

    Instead they have him playing 3RD and he does very well.

    Depth.

    Embrace it.

  18. Woodguy says:

    B.C.B,

    - The Oil have no internal candidate for #1 LH Defeenseman and Nurse is the best bet but a few years away at best

    Martin Marincin had the 3rd best RelCor in the NHL among Dmen who played the toughest minutes on their team.

    Klefbom also looks likes he’s rising.

    How do you know Nurse is the best?

    By the reports of people watching OKC closely he’s losing a lot of battles (as many 19 year olds do) in the AHL.

  19. Woodguy says:

    - Both are getting paid this summer (Petry with between 4-4.5 million over 5 years, and Schultz is going to be close to the same . . . the latter is a overpay and the former is not, imo)

    I don;’t think Petry brings enough offence to get over $4MM.

    My guess and hope.

  20. cahill says:

    Lowetide,

    Can you ask Otten about Brendan Lemieux? What he think’s his ceiling is (2nd or 3rd liner)? I doubt we can get him unless we pickup a 2nd rounder somewhere, but he’s an interesting prospect. Chip off the ol’ block.

    Also his thoughts on 6’6 220lb Hunter Smith, I believe this is his first draft year. Older birthday Sept 11, 95. But has decent numbers. What is his skating like?
    GP G A PTS
    64 16 24 40

  21. B.C.B says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree with you for the concept of Depth. I just don’t think it is congruent with the current idea of Number One Dman that the brass are pursueing.

    I would love to be wrong. I hope the Oilers sign both Petry and Schultz (I am betting they get an average salary of >8.25 for both of them a year). Plus bring in two veteran players as well. I would love depth, but I have been trying my best to watch the oilers this last 6 seasons and do not think it is a concept that should be applied to Lowe/MacT defensive corps. Not yet, I am too tired of being disappointed. At best, I am praying that the Oilers add any NHL defensemen over the offseason. I still vote for trading for Coyburn and throwing money at Tom Gilbert (like dumb monies).

  22. B.C.B says:

    Woodguy:
    B.C.B,

    - The Oil have no internal candidate for #1 LH Defeenseman and Nurse is the best bet but a few years away at best

    Martin Marincin had the 3rd best RelCor in the NHL among Dmen who played the toughest minutes on their team.

    Klefbom also looks likes he’s rising.

    How do you know Nurse is the best?

    By the reports of people watching OKC closely he’s losing a lot of battles (as many 19 year olds do) in the AHL.

    OK, I agree with you that Marincin is the best young dman at this point of time. I included him on every suggestion that I thought MacT would look at. I do not think he is going anywhere but in a block buster trade that brings a #1 LH Dman. I do think Klefbom will play in the NHL next year but limiting him to 60 gp is essential to making the playoffs, because I think that the Oilers need to add two NHL defensemen that have a NHL track record of playing against good-tough competition.

    Nurse fits the true number one stud defenseman that the Oil brass dreams about . . . 2006. I hope I am wrong, but the Oilers are going whale hunting for a BIG top pairing player & not an average sized to-pairing individual.

    I am sorry I have gone crazy, the Oilers D is just too bad to watch..

  23. VanOil says:

    I think the ideal partner for Schultz would be Kulikov. He is large, can skate and is age appropriate. His offense is not yet all world but that is not a large issue playing with Schultz. Also he finished the year in Florida playing on the top pairing with Campbell.

    I realize Schultz-Kulikov is hardly a top pairing that will put the fear into the NHL but they are an upgrade on the last few seasons and can be backed with a good 2nd pairing in Petry-Marincin. We will just have to wait and hope for Nurse and a partner to emerge as a true top flight Dman.

    An easy fix for Schultz next year is to scrap the 1D PP. I have no problem with the 1D PP unless it involves a Dman like Schultz or Larson that can’t play D. Yakupov is more responsible on the point.

    There is some good news in the up coming and likely putrid contract for Schultz, Eberle’s won’t look so bad.

  24. Melman says:

    It would be interesting to know whether other teams value Schultz higher over Petry. If it’s the former (my unsubstantiated suspicion) then perhaps Schultz could be part of the mythical trade for a legit top pairing D or stud C.

  25. OilTastic says:

    Schultz was the shitz defensively last year and sometimes didn’t play intense enough and absolutely did appear to be “lollygagging”. he needs to improve this fast or we’ll be doomed, especially with a big contract likely coming his way.

  26. Woodguy says:

    B.C.B: OK, I agree with you thatMarincinis the best young dman at this point of time.I included him on every suggestion that I thought MacT would look at.I do not think he is going anywhere but in a block buster trade that brings a #1 LH Dman.I do think Klefbom will play in the NHL next year but limiting him to 60 gp is essential to making the playoffs, because I think that the Oilers need to add two NHL defensemen that have a NHL track record of playing against good-tough competition.

    Nurse fits the true number one stud defenseman that the Oil brass dreams about . . . 2006.I hope I am wrong, but the Oilers are going whale hunting for a BIG top pairing player & not an average sized to-pairing individual.

    I am sorry I have gone crazy, the Oilers D is just too bad to watch..

    I see where you are going with this, but I just can’t crown any prospect a “future #1 NHL Dman” when they haven’t played any NHL games, and that includes Ekblad.

    I’ve seen too many “the next Potvin/Bourque/Lidstron/Pronger/Weber” just not become a #1 NHL Dman because its brutally hard, injuries happen, and development doesn’t happen the same for everyone.

    I’m not comfortable until a player is playing at least 2nd pairing in the NHL to declare what they will be, and even then you can get it wrong.

    Marincin ripped the cover off the ball in his first 44 games, and therefore he is, by far, the closest thing the Oilers have to a true #1 LHD among the prospects.

  27. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    By the reports of people watching OKC closely he’s losing a lot of battles (as many 19 year olds do) in the AHL.
    ****************************************************************************************
    Those same reports also state his skating stands out as a 19 year old in a professional hockey league….

  28. Hammers says:

    Schultz will never be more than a 2nd pairing “D” and the same for Petry but I see Petry as the better all around “D” , hits , blocks shots , better defensive acumen & he could play on PP if they try him . I hope McT gives Schultz some kind of bridge contract as we find out this year his true value .What we need is a top RH “D” as we have lots of depth on the left .I’m afraid we get a top LH “D” and once again the balance on defense will be wrong just like the forwards . This sounds terrible from a glass half full guy .

  29. Hammers says:

    Woodguy: I see where you are going with this, but I just can’t crown any prospect a “future #1 NHL Dman” when they haven’t played any NHL games, and that includes Ekblad.

    I’ve seen too many “the next Potvin/Bourque/Lidstron/Pronger/Weber” just not become a #1 NHL Dman because its brutally hard, injuries happen, and development doesn’t happen the same for everyone.

    I’m not comfortable until a player is playing at least 2nd pairing in the NHL to declare what they will be, and even then you can get it wrong.

    Marincin ripped the cover off the ball in his first 44 games, and therefore he is, by far, the closest thing the Oilers have to a true #1 LHD among the prospects.

    100% accurate but that may make him trade bait.

  30. misfit says:

    I’ve never liked the idea of putting a rookie with a stay-at-home type of defender. Mostly because the guys who get that title usually do so by struggling to move the puck. IMO, that puts way too much pressure on the guy who’s supposed to be getting sheltered to be responsible for saving the day and getting the puck out of harm’s way.

    Myers and Phaneuf were the only 2 defensemen to be finalists for the Calder in the last decade. Tallinder and Hamrlik were their respective defense partners. Both capable puck movers in their own right. Jackman won it in 2003, and he had a HOF defenseman to show him the ropes in Al MacInnis (but as a SAH type himself, it seems natural that he would be partnered with an offensive-defenseman).

    The only standout rookie D I can think of who succeeded with a guy not known as a puck mover is Doughty who played the bulk of his minutes with Sean O’Donnell. Doughty was a special player and likely would’ve succeeded with Scott Ferguson as a partner, so I’m hesitant to use him as an example.

    I think one of the reasons Marincin was able to adapt so well this year is because, even though he’s a puck mover himself, he played most of his time with Petry. so he wasn’t going to be the guy expected to get it up to the forwards and out of the zone himself. Klefbom looked great this year, but also spent over 50% of his total icetime with Justin Schultz.

    Now, I don’t know if I want Schultz sheltering rookies at the current stage of his career, but it’s probably better for the rookie he’s playing with.

  31. G Money says:

    Re point #29 – I posted this in the Lander thread a couple of days ago: How to fix the Oilers’ defense in six easy (?) steps. LT’s suggestion for the blue bubbles of steps 4 and 5 = Ehrhoff and Boychuk!

    Niskanen and Fayne might work too, and would be more acquirable (both UFA).

  32. knighttown says:

    Watched the Colorado/Minnesota game last night and one thing that really impressed me was both teams forward depth. Both teams have question marks on defense and have made up for it by adding piles of wingers who can contribute. In a perfect world I’d build my team the way the true contenders have; in the middle of ice like Keith/Toews, Doughty/Kopitar etc but this isn’t a realistic option for the Oilers.

    Minnesota:
    Parise-Koivu-Pominville
    Moulson-Coyle-Niederreiter
    Heatley-Granlund-Cooke
    Huala-Brodziak-Fontaine/McCormack

    That’s kind of never ending and there isn’t a wasted roster spot anywhere.

    Colorado:
    O’Reilly-Duchene-Landeskog
    Stastney-MacKInnon-McGinn
    Parenteau-Talbot-Tanguay (inj)
    Mitchell-McLeod-Cliché

    Mitchell can play but guys like Bordeleau, McLeod and Cliché are Corsi holes on the 4th. THat can be excused because of the talent on lines 1-3.

    If that 25 minute defenseman isn’t coming perhaps the Oil have no choice but to emulate these two teams who loaded up on depth in the positions that are easiest to find. Scoring from everywhere and internal competition for jobs and to move up the depth chart. You roll out Hall-Nuge-Ebs (18M)and then go Perron- Callahan/Legwand – Yakupov (12M). Third line of Vrbata-D. Roy-Gagner. (12M) Fourth line of Hendricks- Gordon- J. Jokinen. (5.5M). Arcobello at 13F.

    Obviously that isn’t cheap but the defense and goaltending don’t cost a bundle and all the new guys are on short term contracts at slight overpays. Substitute names like Moss, Kulemin and Setoguchi if you want to save a few million but have a similar concept.

    No more wasting roster spots on Gazdics. This team can’t afford it. They also can’t afford to have Anton Landers play for 2 years and score 1 goal. If the guy can’t score 10+ in the Top 9 or 7+ on this team’s fourth then move on.

    Detroit got 19 from Tomas Tatar. Soderberg had 17. Gregory Campbell had 8 on the 4th line. Andrew Shaw had 20 goals. Ben Smith had 14. Eakin 17, Garbutt 17, Rousell 14. Benoit Pouiliot 17. Matt Read had 22 goals for Christ sakes.

    The Oilers got about 100 total from Hall, Ebs, Nuge and Perron and no more than 11 from any other player.

  33. Bag of Pucks says:

    If MacT could deal Schultz in a Goligoski for Neal type trade (i.e. the mythical creature known as the PF), that seems like just what the doctor ordered.

    Unfortunately, those types of deals are pretty rare as they end up getting the GMs that make them fired.

    The interesting thing about the OIl is consider a deal like: Schultz and Eberle for Shattenkirk and Sobotka. You’re giving up a lot of offensive upside in a transaction to acquire some two way play from the F and less defensive chaos from the D coming back. I would suspect most orgs would never make that trade though as they’re strongly of the belief that you can coach D but not O skill. The problem here is Oiler players seem to really lag on the learning curve when it comes to taking D coaching to heart.

    If however you could swing that trade with Gagner and a pick instead of Ebs….

  34. ashley says:

    This guy’s got bad body language. Not the Hemsky joke thing. The real thing. As an example, he was out for a short shift midyear against Phoenix and Eakins decided to change them up at an ozone faceoff after a goalie freeze. The camera happened to zoom in on Schultz just as he got word that he was going off. He gave it a full “what, me off? This sucks” and pouted with a slow lazy skate back to the bench. All on camera.

    I suspect that will go away with maturity. As will the too-cool-for-school attitude. At that point, perhaps he blossoms into the promising player he seems to portray.

    Still, many of these kids arrive in the pros with far more professionalism. Disappointing, but I am optimistic about the player in the short term (3 years) and long term.

  35. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, I’m probably one of the most stubborn advocates of not firing the coach every year, but if Hitchcock comes on the market this offseason? Hooboy, it’s hard to make a cogent argument against the position that he’s exactly what this defensively challenged team needs.

  36. Woodguy says:

    denny33:
    Woodguy,

    By the reports of people watching OKC closely he’s losing a lot of battles (as many 19 year olds do) in the AHL.
    ****************************************************************************************
    Those same reports also state his skating stands out as a 19 year old in a professional hockey league….

    I have very high hopes for Nurse and think that he has a chance to be the best of the bunch.

    My point is that he’s not close to being a NHL difference maker and we need to not sell the ones we have that are close in hopes that someone takes their place.

  37. Ducey says:

    Bag of Pucks: Btw, I’m probably one of the most stubborn advocates of not firing the coach every year, but if Hitchcock comes on the market this offseason? Hooboy, it’s hard to make a cogent argument against the position that he’s exactly what this defensively challenged team needs.

    Not sure if he is good fit here.

    Hitch has about a four year shelf life. He is hard on his players and they get tired of playing like defensive robots.

    I am not sure how well that will work if the team isn’t good enough to start with. It didn’t work in CLB.

    Could he move them from 28th to 20th? Likely. Is that enough for players to put up with his requirements for long? Not likely.

    I would like him as a consultant to Eakins. He could certainly teach him a ton.

  38. russ99 says:

    ashley,

    Except that no rookies have this mentality coming into the league, especially if they were a star at a lower level. The need a support system both from the coaching side and mentoring by experienced players.

    None of which we seem to have…

    Schultz may have it a bit worse than other players given the way he signed with us and whatever they promised him to come here.

    As for Hitchcock, he would be way better than Eakins, but I’d prefer a more even-keeled dynamic coach, not one falling from the Mike Keenan tree.

    Besides that fire and brimstone stuff doesn’t work anymore, pretty obvious.

  39. G Money says:

    russ99: As for Hitchcock, he would be way better than Eakins, but I’d prefer a more even-keeled dynamic coach, not one falling from the Mike Keenan tree.
    Besides that fire and brimstone stuff doesn’t work anymore, pretty obvious.

    Before Hitchcock, here is the Blues record:
    90 pts, out of playoffs
    87 pts, out of playoffs

    Since Hitchcock, here is the Blues record:
    109 pts, 1st in division, lost to eventual Stanley Cup Champions in playoffs
    60 pts (equates to 103 in full season), 2nd in division, lost to defending Stanley Cup Champions
    111 pts, 2nd in division, lost to defending Stanley Cup Champions

    Explain to me exactly how that equates to Hitchcock’s “brimstone” not working anymore? We could use a little of that type of “not working” around here, that’s for sure.

  40. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    - Both are getting paid this summer (Petry with between 4-4.5 million over 5 years, and Schultz is going to be close to the same . . . the latter is a overpay and the former is not, imo)

    I don;’t think Petry brings enough offence to get over $4MM.

    My guess and hope.

    I will predict Petry opts for arbitration if he doesn’t get reasonable term at $5 something million. There is no conceivable reason for him to sign a contract with term beginning with a $4. He is a year from UFA status. Go to arbitration and UFA status if it is not a 5.

    This is why he probably gets traded. The OIlers probably have to offer 4 x $5 million for keep him from going arbitration to UFA summer 2015. He is a legit top 4 right shot right D, which is a scarce commodity.

    A 2-year transition deal makes the most sense for both Justin Schultz and the Oilers, somewhere in the mid-threes.

  41. fifthcartel says:

    The Oilers trading Petry would be the most Oilers thing ever. I bet they would probably go with:

    Ference-Schultz
    Marincin- Another ‘Andrew Ference’ type
    Klefbom/Nurse- Matt Greene

    This would not surprise me at all.

  42. ashley says:

    Now we like HItch? We’re going in circles. After the Pat Quinn debacle and “promotion” to deputy president of hockey operations (or something), I thought Hitch would have been perfect for this team. He was unemployed and available, but overlooked, IMO in favour of Tom Renney.

    He would still be a good choice. However, the Blues would be foolish to let him go.

    From an Oilers point of view, it’s blue sky thinking. MacT has put his chips on the table in Eakins, and he’s going to ride them until they either pay off or the dealer takes them. Unless he has absolutely no ego, which would be very unique (and not to mention valuable) for a hockey man at his level.

  43. frjohnk says:

    Ray Ferraro on Bogdan Yakimov after watching him at the WJC’s on the Gregor Show.

    Paraphrased. “First was not too impressed with him, but as the tournament went on, he grew on me. The oilers don’t have just a prospect there, they have a REAL prospect there.”

    For the 2013 draft, Greg Chase looks to be a steal of draft pick for the oilers, Yakimov could possibly challenge him.

  44. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Panthers fire their replacement coach. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=450765

    Want an experienced hand to guide the rebuild.

    Already smarter than the Oilers, IMHO =/

  45. Ducey says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Panthers fire their replacement coach. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=450765Want an experienced hand to guide the rebuild.Already smarter than the Oilers, IMHO =/

    Dineen (who had no NHL experience) took FLA to the playoffs his first season.

    64 games later he gets fired. Now they have fired his replacement after less than a season.

    Yeah, real smart.

  46. prairieschooner says:

    So MacT is going to try and find a top D man if not we go with youth.
    Last season his game plan to upgrade the D was to take a flyer on Grebs, Belov, and Larsen, and to bring in Andrew Ferrence. He also traded an actual NHL D man in Smid
    What does MacT have against actual NHL D men ?

  47. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Ducey: Dineen (who had no NHL experience) took FLA to the playoffs his first season.

    64 games later he gets fired.Now they have fired his replacement after less than a season.

    So one more playoff in the last 8 years than the Oilers have had?

    Yeah, real smart.

    Oh OK, we’re in agreement then. I thought you missed my sarcasm.

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