EL KABONG

Lowetide
March 13 2012 07:38AM

There's little doubt the Edmonton Oilers are going to be looking for blueline help this summer. The club has enough assets--young NHLers, prospects and draft picks--to overpay for a legit impact defender. Is the shopping list a long one? Will any of these player types be available?

OH, THAT BACK END

Oiler fans know the club has some extreme needs on defense. Ryan Whitney's injured and doesn't look like he's going to get better or quicker any time soon. Cam Barker has been a disappointment, Corey Potter started well but his effectiveness since returning from injury has been found wanting. Theo Peckham has struggled more than anyone.

That leaves Ladislav Smid, the trending Jeff Petry, new hire Nick Schultz and big man Andy Sutton to save the day.

That my friends is not enough. Over the next few weeks I'll profile some of the players Edmonton may target this summer. I understand they may not be available--these players rarely are--but want to get an idea about what kind of talent pool may be out there when the trade market opens.

NO DAY AT THE BEACH

The available candidates have some things you're not going to like. Some of them cost too much, others have injury histories that are cringe worthy and still others may not be as "high end" as Oiler fans would like to see incoming over the summer.

Note: For Leaf fans, I'm not suggesting Phaneuf is getting traded or that Brian Burke would even consider it. I'm suggesting Edmonton might be interested in the player.

CANDIDATE #1 DION PHANEUF

Dion Phaneuf is a very famous hockey player on a very famous team. I can hear howls from both Oiler and Leaf fans when reading his name as a possibilty, but there are reasons to believe he might be available over the summer. Toronto has not had success with Double Dion as their whammo captain and he doesn't ka-bong like he used to. Moreover, Phaneuf takes home a mighty mighty paycheck every month ($6.5M times 2 after this season) and Toronto is paying a lot of money to their blue.

Let's start by seeing how the Leafs use Double Dion:

  • EV: 69, 3-15-18, 19:14 per game
  • PP: 69, 6-15-21, 3:40 per game
  • PK: 69, 0-1-1, 2:30 per game

Right away we see that this is a 25 minute a night defenseman and he plays in all three disciplines. Toronto boasts the 8th best PP and 29th ranked PK so there might be some question as to how much he's helping 4x5.

At even strength, Phaneuf this season has performed well. The offensive numbers he's delivering are well short of his contract, but he's a more consistent defender and the numbers are good for a 9th place tie in the entire NHL. Edmonton's current point leader from the backline has half the points (20) and is half as effective on the PP.

CORSI REL

Phaneuf is having a good season by this metric, we see those big 5x5 minutes and a Corsi Rel in the black. This graph also shows us that the future of Toronto's blue should be able to survive a Phaneuf trade--Liles, Gardiner, Gunnarson, Franson and Schenn should be the future. That's a more cost effective group too, with Phaneuf's contract down the line.

ZONE START

Komisarek and Gunnarson get the tough assignments and after that it's pretty much random from what we see here. Ron Wilson certainly gave his 4 best offensive options the best chance to impact the game in a positive way with zone starts in enemy territory.

QUAL COMP

We see with Qual Comp the real pecking order for Ron Wilson. He put Phaneuf and Gunnarson out against the tough opposition and then rotated the soft parade among the rest. Interesting to see Komisarek getting soft minutes, tough zone starts and a terrible Corsi Rel--I'd be interested in seeing the quality of players he was out there with during those sorties.

 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

First, we wouldn't have this conversation without Gabriel Desjardins and behind the net.ca but after that we get a look at a pretty nice NHL player. Is he worth the money? Well, I think we can agree not having one of these guys makes for a pretty crappy winter so I'd suggest we include him on the list and see how many we can find who are clearly better than Double Dion. Phaneuf has settled down defensively and his offense has returned to more historic levels--although he's certainly not the PP monster of olden days.

I have no idea if Toronto would deal him, and whether Edmonton would have the assets to move in a blockbuster to bring the back man back to Alberta. We'll deal with those issues after we identify the available talent pool.

Dion Phaunef must certainly a player of interest.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
Avatar
#51 Pajamah
March 13 2012, 11:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@TigerUnderGlass

I've been a big Capitals fan since 88', and Carlson would be a huge steal for any team.

I really think the Caps back end is completely untouchable though, beyond Carlson, Alzner, and Orlov.

The Caps need to rebuild their offense, and as stupid as that sounds, they can score, and are high powered, and great offensively, I don't think anyone thinks a core of Backstrom/Ovechkin/Kuznetsov is ever going to win a cup.

The red machine never breaks, but it may just be sold off in pieces in the next 3-5 years

Avatar
#52 Dallylamma
March 13 2012, 11:47AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I would be difficult to continue to refer to Dion as a 'Hairy Horse Humper' if he's wearing orange and blue next season.

Avatar
#53 Dman09
March 13 2012, 11:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Pajamah wrote:

@TigerUnderGlass

I've been a big Capitals fan since 88', and Carlson would be a huge steal for any team.

I really think the Caps back end is completely untouchable though, beyond Carlson, Alzner, and Orlov.

The Caps need to rebuild their offense, and as stupid as that sounds, they can score, and are high powered, and great offensively, I don't think anyone thinks a core of Backstrom/Ovechkin/Kuznetsov is ever going to win a cup.

The red machine never breaks, but it may just be sold off in pieces in the next 3-5 years

The Red Machine only works when it feels like it though.

Avatar
#54 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 11:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Pajamah

I think that if there is any chance at Carlson at all it is now. This summer. Not next year, not next summer. IF he can ever be had it is right now. I would be pushing hard for it if I was running the team, and if the think as highly as they seem to about Orlov then Carlson might be had.

on another note - why the hell does everyone like Wideman so much? I'm stunned reading how people want to throw 5-6 million at these above average defensemen like Carle and Wideman. Have we really been so starved for real defenseman that we'd go that far just to see competence?

Avatar
#55 etownman
March 13 2012, 12:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I like the mobility & first pass capabilities of Whitney, Schultz, Smid, Petry & Potter. The problem the D have is there is little communication/chemistry between them & the tenders for starters. So many give aways by G's or poor passes puts too many hurries on the D's back!

Also, we don't have much of a forecheck on the other team to create poor decisions on their part! The ice is tilted most nights. The Oilers DO NOT play any type of phsical game, no hold up of the forecheckers on our D! They're left to fend for themselves. It's for me to criticize ONLY the D when I see so many other areas of the Oiler game that needs addressing.

Avatar
#56 Pajamah
March 13 2012, 01:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

I think that if there is any chance at Carlson at all it is now. This summer. Not next year, not next summer. IF he can ever be had it is right now. I would be pushing hard for it if I was running the team, and if the think as highly as they seem to about Orlov then Carlson might be had.

on another note - why the hell does everyone like Wideman so much? I'm stunned reading how people want to throw 5-6 million at these above average defensemen like Carle and Wideman. Have we really been so starved for real defenseman that we'd go that far just to see competence?

Yeah, the longer you wait for any up and coming defenseman, the more it will cost. And Whitney would be a great mentor for him (not neccessarily skillwise, now) but having an elite American defenseman, Whitneys importance shouldnt be lost on most Oiler fans.

And completely agree on the 2nd point. The Oilers do not need another #4 defenseman. Neither Carle or Wideman give us a good defensive core, they just make a bad backend into a decent backend. Oiler management need to shoot for the moon, IMO

Avatar
#57 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 01:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Pajamah

Yeah, the longer you wait for any up and coming defenseman, the more it will cost.

This is true, but it is more than that. Orlov changes things, but only if they can act now.

Avatar
#58 Mike Krushelnyski
March 13 2012, 01:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

If we can send Hemsky the other way that's only picking up 1.5M in cap space...

Avatar
#59 oilbaron
March 13 2012, 01:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

i may be asking a really stupid question here but why does the "emergence" of Orlov make Carlson expendable? If its a cap reason, i just dont see it. Wideman will go to UFA freeing up almost 4 million, Green will re-sign prob at the same dollars, Semin will also go to UFA this summer aswell freeing up almost 7 million. they have the cap space to re-sign carlson and green plus sign a couple free agents if need be. If we had Carlson on our team would you move him? I didnt think so, so why would they.

Avatar
#60 John Chambers
March 13 2012, 02:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

If we trade for Phaneuf we shouldn't stop there - we should also try to add Sean Avery, Alex Burrows, Matt Cooke, and the recently re-signed Daniel Carcillo so that we can have a team identity of total dickheads.

Avatar
#61 John Chambers
March 13 2012, 02:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@TigerUnderGlass

I like Wideman b/c he's the best UFA D-man that has any chance in hell of signing here. Suter and Carle are both from the US, so I doubt they're yearning to play in the north.

If Wideman can be had for $5.5 or less for 5 years or less, we're in a position desperate enough where we should definitely make that move. It shouldn't however preclude us from making a trade for a Dman like Yandle, Mike Green, or, or, or.

There's no chance Washington trades Carlson. Unless we throw in this year's lottery pick.

Avatar
#62 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 03:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
oilbaron wrote:

i may be asking a really stupid question here but why does the "emergence" of Orlov make Carlson expendable? If its a cap reason, i just dont see it. Wideman will go to UFA freeing up almost 4 million, Green will re-sign prob at the same dollars, Semin will also go to UFA this summer aswell freeing up almost 7 million. they have the cap space to re-sign carlson and green plus sign a couple free agents if need be. If we had Carlson on our team would you move him? I didnt think so, so why would they.

FFS read before you reply.

At what point did I use or imply the word "expendable"? WTF does the cap have to do with it?

Avatar
#63 etownman
March 13 2012, 03:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
John Chambers wrote:

I like Wideman b/c he's the best UFA D-man that has any chance in hell of signing here. Suter and Carle are both from the US, so I doubt they're yearning to play in the north.

If Wideman can be had for $5.5 or less for 5 years or less, we're in a position desperate enough where we should definitely make that move. It shouldn't however preclude us from making a trade for a Dman like Yandle, Mike Green, or, or, or.

There's no chance Washington trades Carlson. Unless we throw in this year's lottery pick.

And Wideman is a huge upgrade over what d-man we already have?

Avatar
#64 Pucker
March 13 2012, 03:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Pick up Phaenuf ???

Obviously a troll posting under Lowtide's name. (probably that Kent guy from Flames Nation)

Avatar
#65 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 03:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@John Chambers

If Wideman can be had for $5.5 or less for 5 years or less, we're in a position desperate enough where we should definitely make that move.

Why? Why should we overpay for an above average defenseman? This is exactly why bad teams stay bad.

There's no chance Washington trades Carlson. Unless we throw in this year's lottery pick.

I agree he would come with a hefty price tag, and it's true they may not agree to move him but so what? We shouldn't try? Let's just settle for paying big money to iffy players because we don't bother pursuing good ones.

Re: the lottery pick. I'm not at all convinced it would require this years top 2 pick. Washington has no reason to believe Edmonton will be any better next year, meaning they will still get a lottery pick, so It's not a terrible bet on their part. On our side Tambellini has to believe he can improve the team enough to get that pick out of the lottery. It's a matter of risk, but it's a decent bet for both teams to go with the 2013 pick.

Avatar
#66 John Chambers
March 13 2012, 03:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@TigerUnderGlass

So what do you want me to do about it exactly? Should I be putting in a call to Washington's GM to see if he's available, and if he is am I meant to report back to Tambellini?

Would you like me to cold-call Ray Shero about Crosby while I'm at it?

Avatar
#67 Pajamah
March 13 2012, 03:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

If Wideman can be had for $5.5 or less for 5 years or less, we're in a position desperate enough where we should definitely make that move.

Why? Why should we overpay for an above average defenseman? This is exactly why bad teams stay bad.

There's no chance Washington trades Carlson. Unless we throw in this year's lottery pick.

I agree he would come with a hefty price tag, and it's true they may not agree to move him but so what? We shouldn't try? Let's just settle for paying big money to iffy players because we don't bother pursuing good ones.

Re: the lottery pick. I'm not at all convinced it would require this years top 2 pick. Washington has no reason to believe Edmonton will be any better next year, meaning they will still get a lottery pick, so It's not a terrible bet on their part. On our side Tambellini has to believe he can improve the team enough to get that pick out of the lottery. It's a matter of risk, but it's a decent bet for both teams to go with the 2013 pick.

Actually, Edmonton's 2nd overall pick would be a great starter to get something done with Washington.

Backstrom being hurt has really exposed the Capitals lack of depth up the middle. Backstrom, Grigorenko 1-2? I mean, either the Caps are going to start jettisoning some Russians, or they'll add more until the jersey just becomes the old CCCP hammer and sickle.

2nd plus Paajarvi for Carlson? Or is that too EA NHL 2012?

Avatar
#68 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 03:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@John Chambers

Right, because that was my point.

Avatar
#69 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Pajamah wrote:

Actually, Edmonton's 2nd overall pick would be a great starter to get something done with Washington.

Backstrom being hurt has really exposed the Capitals lack of depth up the middle. Backstrom, Grigorenko 1-2? I mean, either the Caps are going to start jettisoning some Russians, or they'll add more until the jersey just becomes the old CCCP hammer and sickle.

2nd plus Paajarvi for Carlson? Or is that too EA NHL 2012?

I would probably do that, although I'd offer the pick by itself first. A player like Grigorenko likely has more inherent value to them than Edmonton.

I'd rather send an extra player or or a better one and defer the pick though.

A lot of people have been suggesting sending the pick for OEL, so why not Carlson?

Avatar
#70 John Chambers
March 13 2012, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@TigerUnderGlass

What do you perceive Wideman's market value to be? If Erhoff and Wisniewski are earning in the neighborhood of $5M+, doesn't a guy playing over 23 mins a night and leading his team's D in points not command a similar salary?

I'm not thrilled about the $ figure either, but for a proven talent it will be less than $2M more than Petry's next contract. If / when we subtract Whitney it will be a significant upgrade at a minimal cost increase.

I'm not sure I understand why people bitch and complain about the D all year round, and then get excited about trying to land a proven top-4 guy entering his late 20's.

But you're smarter than everybody, so aside from dealing our top pick for John Carlson, how would you "re-build" our blueline?

Avatar
#71 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 04:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@John Chambers

I consider his market value irrelevant. If you see him as a top pairing guy we will never see eye to eye on this.

I see him as a #4 guy who plays PP minutes. His market value is higher so I wouldn't pay it. He just isn't that good a player. Using Wisniewski as an example is certainly not encouraging. Once again - paying these guys is why bad teams stay bad.

But you're smarter than everybody

What was the point of this? I want to argue about hockey, not deal with your sadness that we disagree.

Avatar
#72 oilbaron
March 13 2012, 04:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

the point is that washington doesnt need to move carlson, Get over it. The man who yells the loudest isnt always right.

Avatar
#73 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 04:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
oilbaron wrote:

the point is that washington doesnt need to move carlson, Get over it. The man who yells the loudest isnt always right.

So now I'm yelling because you can't be bothered to read before you respond?

Trades happen every year the don't "need" to happen, so I still don't get your point. Are you saying it would be bad to offer a deal to Washington because Carlson isn't "expendable"?

Avatar
#74 John Chambers
March 13 2012, 04:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@TigerUnderGlass

I'll take your point about Wideman not being top-pair material, but the point is that he doesn't cost anything, and brings offense from the blueline which we can certainly use. Hypothetically if Wideman stood up on Jul 1 and avowed it was his boyhood dream to play for the Oil and was willing to do it for $4.5 m / season, are you saying you would say no? For the extra $1M, you wouldn't add the equivalent of a healthy Whitney to your team?

I actually think dealing the pick for Carlson is an innovative idea (a ready D as opposed to one who'll be useful in 2016), but we're not just one D man away from being a good team, so unless we're willing to trade the entire cupboard, unrestricted free agency and our available cap space are tools at our disposal to begin competing for playoffs next season.

Avatar
#75 John Chambers
March 13 2012, 04:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
oilbaron wrote:

the point is that washington doesnt need to move carlson, Get over it. The man who yells the loudest isnt always right.

THIS IS WHERE YOU'RE WRONG! YAAAAAAAAGGHHHHH.

Avatar
#76 TigerUnderGlass
March 13 2012, 04:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
John Chambers wrote:

I'll take your point about Wideman not being top-pair material, but the point is that he doesn't cost anything, and brings offense from the blueline which we can certainly use. Hypothetically if Wideman stood up on Jul 1 and avowed it was his boyhood dream to play for the Oil and was willing to do it for $4.5 m / season, are you saying you would say no? For the extra $1M, you wouldn't add the equivalent of a healthy Whitney to your team?

I actually think dealing the pick for Carlson is an innovative idea (a ready D as opposed to one who'll be useful in 2016), but we're not just one D man away from being a good team, so unless we're willing to trade the entire cupboard, unrestricted free agency and our available cap space are tools at our disposal to begin competing for playoffs next season.

I think what I'm saying is that not paying that extra million is the difference between a great franchise and an also-ran. I also don't think he's as good as a healthy Whitney, but we'll probably never know sadly.

We aren't one good D-man away from winning, but to me the key is that Carlson is perfectly aged at 22 to be part of the core cluster. He is still developing and can grow alongside Hall et al. I think more veteran defensemen are needed to fill in the ranks, but the stud on the blue line needs to be part of the cluster.

Avatar
#77 John Chambers
March 13 2012, 04:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@TigerUnderGlass

Ok, makes sense.

A couple of summers ago the big free agent D's were Hamhuis, Volchenkov, Martin, and Michalek. Last summer it was Erhoff and Wis. All of these guys are overpaid relative to their true value $ wise, but they were all free in terms of the cost of assets. I would take on any one of those contracts at their cap hit, but don't like the length of Wis' or Ehrhoff's deals. Hence my teenage lust for Mr Dennis Wideman.

Avatar
#78 Hallo Balla
March 13 2012, 05:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Great looking start to a series that should be very interesting. Our own private moneyball. Should also help to put any moves tambellini makes this summer into context as they are inevitably scrutinized afterward. Thanks for this; can't wait for the next installment.

Avatar
#79 The Soup Fascist
March 13 2012, 05:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
John Chambers wrote:

I like Wideman b/c he's the best UFA D-man that has any chance in hell of signing here. Suter and Carle are both from the US, so I doubt they're yearning to play in the north.

If Wideman can be had for $5.5 or less for 5 years or less, we're in a position desperate enough where we should definitely make that move. It shouldn't however preclude us from making a trade for a Dman like Yandle, Mike Green, or, or, or.

There's no chance Washington trades Carlson. Unless we throw in this year's lottery pick.

Carle is from Alaska, so technically it would be a Southward move from his hometown. But my smarta$$ comment aside I do think Carle is becoming a first pairing Dman who could be had.

Your comment about Phaneuf in the room is valid. The other guy you are missing on your knob list is the rarely affable Ian White. Who needs it?

Avatar
#80 ScottieA
March 14 2012, 12:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I hate the guy and would actually boo him if he were an Oiler. I don't care that he's from Edmonton.

Comments are closed for this article.