Matt Hendricks took on a tough job and performed well in the role. He’s a veteran player who can handle himself and play the game—that has value. Concerns over foot speed and salary cap hit remain, but the fact of it is this: Matt Hendricks filled a role for the Edmonton Oilers.
MATT HENDRICKS 13-14
- 5×5 points per 60: 0.62 (13th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: nil
- Qual Comp: 10th toughest competition among regulars (third-fourth line)
- Qual Team: 12th best competition among regulars (fourth line)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 40.8
- Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -2.7
- Zone Start: 16.2% (toughest on the team among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 49/6.1% (10th among F’s >45 or more shots)
- Boxcars: 33, 3-0-3
RE 14-15 PREVIEW
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THE VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL, INCLUDES ENTIRE HENDRICKS SEASON)
- You didn’t like the trade. I said “Hendricks is a player we’ve discussed before, he brings clarity to the roster (Lander is probably gone, either back to Europe or to another team) and adds a physical element many felt the team needed, but he does not add that element on the skill lines.”
- Wrong on all counts! We’ll see. Harder to find a role for Lander now, but there could be a spot on the 4line, or maybe Gordon plays three line and we see Lander-Hendricks on the 4line.
- Hendricks had a tough job in Edmonton. Insane zone start, that jumps right out at you. Hendricks played punishing minutes in that area. He and Boyd Gordon really did play specialty minutes, the Malhotra minutes, for Edmonton.
- So the Gordon-Hendricks duo in that role makes sense? Yes. The question becomes who is the third guy. Ideally, you want a player making under one million to fill that third role, because the two veterans are expensive for 4line duty.
- But this isn’t traditional 4line. Sure, but you’re not going to get 20 goals out of this unit, so spending $7 million on it looks unwise from here.
- Any internal candidates? Lots. I can see Lander, Pitlick or Joensuu from the group that played in Edmonton this season. Lander’s skill set might be ideal for this role, he’s not a scorer but can move the puck and has defensive acumen. Plus, he can penalty kill.
- Anyone on the farm? Sure, although they all probably need more seasoning. Steve Pinizzotto, the new Finn Pakarinen, eventually Ewanyk could be a solution but that’s miles away. The good thing about this job is you don’t need offense, and the Oilers have those guys in numbers.
- They’re hogging them! Ha, yeah not fair. All the non-scoring forwards are in Edmonton’s stable!
- Back to Hendricks. He didn’t score. At all. Well, the zone starts make that difficult and Hendricks’ career high in goals (NHL) is nine. Expecting offense under any circumstances is unwise.
- You like him a little better now? I like the way they used him, and believe the Oilers can get significant value from the player (and the contract) if this 4line idea takes root and thrives.
- Is there anything you don’t like about Hendricks? He takes too many dumb penalties, and despite plenty of fights (6 in Edmonton) isn’t recognized as being qualified for the enforcer role. He’s also good on the draw, but they rarely use him. Plus he’s making too much money, I think that’s why they’ll eventually trade Hendricks—he makes too much for the role.
- What do you like about Hendricks? He begins to address the wicked lack of two-way wingers on this team. This has been a problem forever, and Hendricks does have some ability in this area.
- So, you like him as a replacement for Jones? He isn’t replacing Jones.
- Ryan Jones in that 3-4 line role? Ryan Jones and Matt Hendricks are not similar players and do not fill similar roles. In any way.
- You are okay with his Corsi? Sure, based on zone start. You’d like that number to be closer to 50, or even 45, but as the team improves these depth numbers should improve.
- Ideally, what role would you like Hendricks to fill? Pisani’s, but he isn’t that kind of player.
- What kind? Intelligent two-way winger who can score 15 goals.
- Where is that player coming from? Probably the farm. That’s where Pisani came from.
- Is there anyone on the farm now? I had hoped for Pitlick, but he isn’t going to bring the 15 goals.
- What about Khaira or Yakimov or Moroz? That’s this year’s new group, none are ideal.
- Anyone still in junior? Greg Chase might fill that role down the line, maybe Jackson Houck.
- Or they could trade for one. Or sign Daniel Winnik.
- Not so good? Well, maybe Gazdic figures it out or Joensuu.
- It’s a really tough thing to do. Guess so.
- Rare thing! Well, not really. Taylor Hall is a rare thing. Checking winger with 15-goal skill is a prevalent thing, but Edmonton has forgotten where to look.
- You’re frustrated by this? The hard part is procurement of Hall’s, Eberle’s, Nuge’s, Yak’s. The easy part, the part MacT was so good at, was finding Pisani’s. Where did that go? Maybe it’s Pitlick after all.
- Why this song? I love the talk intro on this version, man that’s some wonderful story telling. And the line ‘you’re a mean old daddy’ works for Hendricks.
- No deep meaning? Nope. Great song, nice guitar and another lovely melody.