GDB 29.0: SHARK HUNTING...UPDATE RNH OUT

Jason Gregor
March 20 2013 10:47AM

Breaking News: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is sick and will not play tonight...Rishaug just reported from the rink. So Oilers will have to dress two non-centres tonight. Ouch.

After a gutsy third period got them a win over Nashville on Sunday, the Oilers need to attack the struggling San Jose Sharks early tonight and get them on their heels. The Sharks have been one of the worst teams in the league since February 1st.

The Sharks are a woeful 5-10-6 after starting the season with seven straight wins. The Sharks outscored their opponents 27-12 in their first 7 games, but they've been outscored 59-36 in their last 21.

They Sharks are struggling and if the Oilers want to stay in the playoff hunt tonight is a game they need to win.

The Sharks don't have any offensive depth. Joe Thornton (27), Patrick Marleau (23), Logan Couture (21) and Joe Pavelski (17) are the only forwards with more than ten points.

The Oilers have way more scoring depth. Sam Gagner (27), Taylor Hall (26), Jordan Eberle (20), Ales Hemsky (17), Nail Yakupov (14) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (11) are in double-digits, while Magnus Paajarvi has 6 points in his last 8 games.

The Sharks are ahead of the Oilers in the standings, but right now they are not playing like a superior team.

LINEUP

Hall/Horcoff/Hemsky
Paajarvi/Gagner/Yakupov
Jones/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

Smid/Petry
Whitney/J.Schultz
N.Schultz/Fistric

Dubnyk

The only change might be Hartikainen coming in for Jones, but after listening to Ralph Krueger yesterday I think he'll stick with Jones. Jones couldn't do any activity for the entire month of January, due to his eye injury, and that hurt his conditioning. Krueger feels Jones is getting better every day and feels the extra time between games has allowed him to improve his cardio. It sounds like he wants to give him a few more games and see if the improved conditioning will help Jones.

TRADING WHITNEY

The Oilers are in the midst of their first playoff run in four years and yesterday Jonathan Willis and David Staples suggested it would be wise to trade Ryan Whitney. Let's look at this a little closer.

There is no doubt Whitney struggled early this season, but lately he has played better, especially offensively.  After the nine-game road trip, where Whitney scored three goals, he admitted that despite his offence coming around he still needed to work on his gaps and his overall defensive game. No one is arguing he can't improve there.

He'll never be considered a great defensive D-man, however, he does excel on the powerplay and that is why trading Whitney at this point of the season would be a step backwards.

  • 37% of the Oilers goals have come on the powerplay. They rely on their PP more than any other team in the NHL, and Whitney is the best PP D-man they have. The Oilers have no adequate replacement on the roster, and considering they rely that much on the PP to score, I don't see why you would risk trading away your best PP D-man while you are at the start of a playoff run.
     
  • Staples ad Willis suggested Corey Potter could fill in. The same Potter who has 0 points this year. First off he shoots right, and the Oilers 2nd PP unit is set up so a left shooting D-man quarterbacks the powerplay. So, outside of replacing Whitney with an inferior PP player, you are now going to adjust their system, even though the Oilers PP has been very effective at 22.9%. I say, pardon.
     
  • Staples suggested Potter was great on the PP early last season, but then he lost PP time to Whitney. Let's look at that. 

Player  Team Pos  GP  PP TOI PP TOI/G 
 
Corey Potter EDM D 62 153:24:00 2:28
Ryan Whitney EDM D 51 115:02:00 2:15
Jeff Petry EDM D 73 93:26:00 1:16
Cam Barker EDM D 25 58:01:00 2:19

  • In fact, Potter averaged more PPTOI/G and he had 38:36 more PP time all season. Potter finished with 11 PPP, while Whitney had 10. Potter had six of his PPP in the first 9 games of the season, and then produced only 5 in the remaining 57. He had a great start to the season, but I don't think we should use a good nine-game stretch as the basis that Potter is an above-average PP player. 
     
  • In the 21 games Whitney has played this season the PP is 21 for 78, 26.9%. Whitney has been on the ice for ten of those goals and has five points. In the 7 games he sat, the PP was 4 for 31 at 12.9%.
     
  • In the six games Potter played while Whitney sat, Potter played 11:48 on the PP scoring no points and he was on for one PP goal. He averaged 1:58 of PP time in those games, while Whitney plays 2:38.
     
  • It is clear that Whitney has a much bigger impact on the PP than Potter. 
     
  • Whitney is even better than Justin Schultz when you look at PP time=production. Whitney has played 55 minutes of PP TOI and he's been on the ice for 10 PP goals. Schultz has 155 minutes of PP TOI and he's been on for 15 goals. Schultz is a rookie and he's already a very good PP player, and I expect he'll be even better in the future, but right now Whitney is still more productive.
     
  • Unless you believe the Oilers are suddenly going to become a productive ES team, I see no reason why you trade Whitney. The organization wants their young players to experience "playoff-like" games, and if they want that to happen they should keep Whitney because he helps the PP. And right now the Oilers can't win without a successful powerplay.
     
  • The other suggestion was that you could replace Whitney with Jeff Petry. Petry is already playing 22 minutes a night, and he isn't dominating. Adding more minutes and giving him less rest won't make him play better, nor will it make the PP more effective.
     
  • Trading him for a draft pick is pointless, absolutely pointless, at this juncture of the season. The Oilers need to play meaningful games, and stay competitive now, rather than add another 2nd round pick that might, slim chance, help them in four years.
     
  • It is clear Whitney is very good on the PP, and considering how much production they need from their PP to win games, it makes little sense to move Whitney him. The Oilers do not have an adequate replacement. If the Oilers are out of it after the next seven games, then for sure you look at moving him, but if they are in the mix I wouldn't move him for a draft pick.

 QUICK HITS

  • Last night Daniel Alfredsson become only the 57th player in NHL history to record 1,100 career regular season points. He is also one of the rare players who had his best offensive season between the age of 30-35. He had 78 points at 30 years of age, 80 at 31, lockout at 32, 103 at 33, 87 at 34 and 89 points as a 35-year-old. Impressive.
     
  • He's likely to become only the 11th player with 1,100+ points to play for only one team/organization for his entire career. Can you name the other ten? *Answer below.
     
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are 7-0-4 in their last 11 games and are now tied for 8th place. They only way they keep winning is if Sergei Bobrovsky keeps standing on his head. The Jackets were outshot in 9 of the 11 games, by a margin of 297 to 362. They are giving up 33 shots against in this unbeaten streak. They also played 9 of those games at home and a whopping nine of them went to OT.  They were 3-2 in SO and 2-2 in OT. It is great for fans in Columbus to have their team in the hunt, but they will need to tighten up defensively to stay competitive. Bobrovsky has a .966 SV% in their last nine games. Incredible.
     
  • The Oilers had almost a perfect last few days, and they didn't even play. There were no 3-point games involving teams in the playoff hunt, and the Sharks, Predators, Flames, and Coyotes (twice) all lost. Now it is up to the Oilers to win.
     
  • Carey Price is getting a lot of hype for the Vezina, and deservedly so, but Tukka Rask has been stellar with for the Bruins with a 1.92 GAA and 0.928 SV%. If Bobrovsky continues his stellar play he'd have to be considered.  

PREDICTIONS....

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers score three minutes in, and skate away with a 4-2 win led by two goals from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Devan Dubnyk is much better in the first frame tonight than he was when the Sharks lit him up for six goals in 20 minutes in the home opener. (Easiest prediction ever.)

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: With only one goal in his last 20 games, Nail Yakupov is the second one on the ice for warm up. As he is circling the ice he stops at the top of the right faceoff circle and motions to Paajarvi to come over. Paajarvi stops and after a brief moment, he smiles and laughs. Yakupov looks at him seriously and then Paajarvi mouths something to him. Yakupov smiles and says something back, then he skates away. Paajarvi looks a bit perplexed, but then continues his warm up.

Yakupov scores a PP goal in the 2nd period, and after the game he explains the what happened during warm up. It turns out Russian are very superstitious. Yakupov asked Paajarvi to say, "ни пуха ни пера!" which roughly translates to "neither fur, nor feather!" which means good luck.  Then Yakupov replied, "К чёрту!" which means, "To the Devil," which is a way of securing good luck. Yakupov explains Russians do this before important tests, and since he tonight was considered a "good test" for the Oilers he thought he'd try it. 

TRIVIA ANSWER

** Daniel Alfredsson is now the 11th player in NHL history to play for only one team/organization and score 1,100 points.

Alfredsson sits 57th all-time in scoring with 1,100 points. Senators
Mike Bossy:            52nd with 1,126. Islanders
Nicklas Lidstrom:  50th with 1,142. Red Wings.
Bobby Clarke:         42nd with 1,210. Flyers
Jean Beliveau:       39th with 1,219. Canadiens.
Alex Delvecchio:    33rd with 1,281. Red Wings.
Gilbert Perreault:   32nd with 1,326. Sabres.
Stan Mikita:             14th with 1,467. Blackhawks
Joe Sakic:               9th with 1,641. Nordiques/Avalanche
Mario Lemieux:      7th with 1,723. Penguins
Steve Yzerman:      6th with 1,755. Red Wings. 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Jonathan Willis
March 20 2013, 12:43PM
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DSF wrote:

Hey, remember when the Oilers could have picked up Cody Franson (2G 15A 17P +11) for peanuts but everyone here thought a 24 year old defenseman had no room to improve.

How would a 6'5" 215 lb smooth skating defenseman look on the Oilers blue line about now?

That Burke sure is a dummy.

Mike Komisarek was put on waivers today; if he clears he'll join Tim Connolly with the Marlies. I don't think Burke's a dummy, but this isn't the day I'd pick to trumpet his incredible accomplishments.

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#52 Gusher
March 20 2013, 12:43PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Only 1 month left in this season, so 4.5M this year is insignificant. Next, we may not have Whitney's or Smid's contract so we have cap room. We need a nasty on the backend to complement JSchultz, Petry and mabye Klefbom. Obviously Peckham is not the answer.

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#53 Will
March 20 2013, 12:44PM
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It really is a shame he's turning things around now. A littler earlier in the season and it could be shown he finally has turned a corner and he can contribute to our team, or any other team interested in acquiring him.

Yes, it would be bad management to see him walk for nothing, but sometimes that's the risk you take when in a payoff race. Much like how Dallas had to let Richards go for nothing a few years back, teams in a playoff race have a tough choice to make.

If he plays well down the stretch, and then helps in the playoffs, then I suppose the conversation switches to trying to resign him.

Finally, I doubt, we could get a second round pick for him as very few teams seem to be buyers this year. Everyone's just in kind of a holding pattern looking to see how the next few games go.

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#54 djc
March 20 2013, 12:44PM
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Kreider, Garrison, Wellwood and Grandlund will all soon be on that list.

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#55 Archaeologuy
March 20 2013, 12:48PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

He could just as easily continue to play well, since he's coming off an injury.

And deep draft, deep schmaft...The 2nd round pick, might, big might, be a player in four years. The Oilers need to compete now, and stop hoping for more kids to help them.

Go look at teams that continually lose...they trade away NHL players for picks, and never get better.

Bad Teams also let assets walk for nothing. If he isn't extended he has to be moved. I can live with either, but leaving for nothing in unacceptable.

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#56 Truth
March 20 2013, 12:49PM
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@Gusher

By the amount Toronto has played Komisarek recently I would argue that he is the equivalent to Peckham. Provides a level of toughness, and that's it. Plenty of other options for a much better price.

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#57 Quicksilver ballet
March 20 2013, 12:51PM
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@Jason Gregor

"The Oilers need NHL players."

They've been parading out supposed NHL players all along during these last 3 yrs Jason. These 1st,2nd and 3rd yr NHLers happen to already far better the the alledged veteran core. Let these kids blaze their own path. The current group of supposed veteran leadership have never accomplished anything before worthy of emulating.

Deadwood out, and another 18 yr old in, is a step in the right direction. Screw bringing in overpaid/underachieving UFA veterans. Target kids near/at the end of their ELCs. The price may be a little high, but atleast they don't come with built in cap concerns.

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#58 Ducey
March 20 2013, 12:54PM
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@Jason Gregor

And deep draft, deep schmaft...The 2nd round pick, might, big might, be a player in four years. The Oilers need to compete now, and stop hoping for more kids to help them. Go look at teams that continually lose...they trade away NHL players for picks, and never get better.

Great teams trade away NHL players for picks all the time!!

In June Philly traded Bobrosky to CLB for three picks, ANA traded Vishnovsky to NYI for a pick. In July STL trade Crombeen for two picks. Recently, Dallas traded EDM Fistric for a third.

Last Feb WPG traded Oduya for two picks. CHI traded Scott for a pick, Buffalo traded Gaustad for a first round pick, DET traded Mike Commodore for a conditional pick.

The Oilers have a surplus of 5/6 Dmen. Trade the one you can.

The second round pick the Oilers could get might be the player that puts them over the top in 2 or 3 years.

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#59 justDOit
March 20 2013, 12:55PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Apologies justdoit, I couldn't remember if he was restricted or not. But my comments of him still bringing the better return stand.

I really can't see how trading away a player who has finally turned the corner and is proving to be a valuable 2C is a good idea. And if you trade him for a 'power forward', as you say, and then can't just sign him back in the summer, this leaves the Oilers with less depth in their weakest position - center.

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#60 A-Mc
March 20 2013, 12:56PM
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If the price is right, the Oilers should re-sign Whitney. My hope would be that it's shorter term (2 years) and for a little less money (~3/yr). I would sell it to him in such a way that says "Look, we paid you a lot of money and you haven't delivered results. We believe you can return to form because we've seen flashes of it and we're willing to give you time to do it. But the Dollars are going to have to be a little less".

Trading for a pick isn't good enough unless it was somehow an overpay with a 1st rounder (Totally unlikely).

Re: Sharks

I sure hope the Mighty Oil can spear the sharks tonight. It's a game that we have to win because even with a win, it basically maintains our position in the standings. If we lose, I'm betting we'll be back near the bottom by Saturday.

A Hopeful Oiler's Win 3-1.

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#61 DSF
March 20 2013, 01:00PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Mike Komisarek was put on waivers today; if he clears he'll join Tim Connolly with the Marlies. I don't think Burke's a dummy, but this isn't the day I'd pick to trumpet his incredible accomplishments.

All GM's make mistakes.

The smart ones act quickly to make corrections. Had Gardiner been healthy all season I would think Komisarek would have been demoted long ago but the Leafs needed some veteran insurance.

With Hordichuk and Eager being sent down, it appears Tambellini may be figuring this out.

How he handles Whitney may be a bit of a bellweather. There really is no need to move Whitney until the Oilers fall out of the playoff race but, at that point, he should be moved for a second round pick.

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#62 Jay Kreye
March 20 2013, 01:04PM
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Is Fistric still hurting or flu maybe? I sure like his game when he plays but he can't stay in the lineup for some reason. Nice to have him play against a big team like the sharks. Don't understand why Toby Peterson, I mean Corey Potter continues to play as much as he is. Brutal.

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#63 A-Mc
March 20 2013, 01:06PM
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Jay Kreye wrote:

Is Fistric still hurting or flu maybe? I sure like his game when he plays but he can't stay in the lineup for some reason. Nice to have him play against a big team like the sharks. Don't understand why Toby Peterson, I mean Corey Potter continues to play as much as he is. Brutal.

on team1260 they said fistric is in.

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#64 DennyB
March 20 2013, 01:08PM
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Gregor,

If the Oilers were looking to make a move at the deadline do you think trading Whitney, Hemsky, and a 3rd to Buffalo for Sekera and Ott would be viable and help to improve the club for a playoff run. Do you think Buffalo would entertain this deal or do you think that would be an over pay by the Oilers?

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#65 flynn
March 20 2013, 01:11PM
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Am I the only one who sees that RNH & Eberle play better with Harti then Jones? No Fistric against SJ? That is a headscratcher! There forwards will dominate Potter down low. I'm really starting to lose patience with Kruger and his bad lineup decisions.

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#66 Mr. Sense Common
March 20 2013, 01:15PM
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@DennyB

oh man...now you're talkin.....STEVE OTT baby.....he would be the most loved player in Edm since Mark Messier. write that down. I guess we need to hope and pray lightning strikes Tammy and he thinks of Ott

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#67 2004Z06
March 20 2013, 01:16PM
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Jusdoit.....We all agree the oilers need some size and grit up front (we have a glut of small skilled forwards). My point is that ultimately I would like a top 1/2 center, but that will cost you. Likely Gagner+prospect+pick or Hemsky +++. If Gagner is the player out, then a center needs to be coming back, If it is Hemsky going out then you have a little more flexibility. Gagner is not a natural center and while he is having a good year points wise, he still struggles significantly in the defensive zone as well as in the dot. If Gagner is not the player moved, then the Hemsky +++ nets the center and Gagner moves back to the wing where I suspect he would be even better as he no longer has the D and F/O responsibilities. I like Gagner, but tough decisions need to be made to move this team forward and he is the one of only 2 assets in the top 6 that would/could be moved.

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#68 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 01:21PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Jusdoit.....We all agree the oilers need some size and grit up front (we have a glut of small skilled forwards). My point is that ultimately I would like a top 1/2 center, but that will cost you. Likely Gagner+prospect+pick or Hemsky +++. If Gagner is the player out, then a center needs to be coming back, If it is Hemsky going out then you have a little more flexibility. Gagner is not a natural center and while he is having a good year points wise, he still struggles significantly in the defensive zone as well as in the dot. If Gagner is not the player moved, then the Hemsky +++ nets the center and Gagner moves back to the wing where I suspect he would be even better as he no longer has the D and F/O responsibilities. I like Gagner, but tough decisions need to be made to move this team forward and he is the one of only 2 assets in the top 6 that would/could be moved.

What leads you to the conclusion that Gagner is not a natural center?

Beyond that, I think you should re-think two assumptions:

1) that a lack of "size and grit" are what ails this team; and

2) whatever it is you expect from a 22 year old 2nd line Center that allows you to perceive Gagner as coming up short.

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#69 A-Mc
March 20 2013, 01:26PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Gregor's were just a guess at any rate.

It will be interesting to see when Peckham finally gets over his "flu" and when he finally plays again or if...

It's suspicious how all of Peckham's injuries linger so long, while he conveniently sits on IR.

I think the team is pulling some BS there, so they can keep an extra man on the roster because they don't see value in peckham but can't send him to OKC with out losing him.

I think if there are any trades for the Oilers this trade deadline, they are going to move Peckham. The guy can't grow if he never plays and he does the organization no good by taking a roster spot and costs money.

I could see a Peckham + Pick for another Brown but w/ a tad more skill so he can slot into the 3rd line

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#70 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 01:31PM
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A-Mc wrote:

It's suspicious how all of Peckham's injuries linger so long, while he conveniently sits on IR.

I think the team is pulling some BS there, so they can keep an extra man on the roster because they don't see value in peckham but can't send him to OKC with out losing him.

I think if there are any trades for the Oilers this trade deadline, they are going to move Peckham. The guy can't grow if he never plays and he does the organization no good by taking a roster spot and costs money.

I could see a Peckham + Pick for another Brown but w/ a tad more skill so he can slot into the 3rd line

I think Peckham is going to be worth a lot more than a Brown-type on the market, even sidelined as he's been.

The question over the next couple of weeks will be Fistric and Peckham: who gets signed, who gets shipped out.

My guess is both Whitney and Peckham are out by the deadline. Fistric is signed and the team stunts Klefbom by rushing him into the NHL, or picks up a D in the off season.

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#71 GVBlackhawk
March 20 2013, 01:35PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

What leads you to the conclusion that Gagner is not a natural center?

Beyond that, I think you should re-think two assumptions:

1) that a lack of "size and grit" are what ails this team; and

2) whatever it is you expect from a 22 year old 2nd line Center that allows you to perceive Gagner as coming up short.

No kidding. People bash Gagner just because of size and grit factor. It's ridiculous. Any mention of Gagner's PK numbers this season? NO! Any mention of his point-per-game scoring? Nope. If the Oilers traded Gagner for a big center, the fans would complain because production had decreased at 2C.

Gagner needs to improve 5v5 play and faceoffs. He is still young and can do this, imo.

I would like the team to focus on possession metrics when evaluating potential trade targets -- not be so blinded by size and grit alone.

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#72 A-Mc
March 20 2013, 01:39PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I think Peckham is going to be worth a lot more than a Brown-type on the market, even sidelined as he's been.

The question over the next couple of weeks will be Fistric and Peckham: who gets signed, who gets shipped out.

My guess is both Whitney and Peckham are out by the deadline. Fistric is signed and the team stunts Klefbom by rushing him into the NHL, or picks up a D in the off season.

That's why i say a Brown type but for the 3rd line. 3rd line players make atleast a 1M jump over 4th liners.

It's too bad Klefbom got hurt. I'm really curious what he will bring to the team. I've heard people say his ceiling is quite high (2-4), but then i've also heard that he's likely a solid 5/6 guy over his career. These statements contradict each other, so i'd like to see him for myself.

I hope he's atleast healthy for Training camp next year. And i definitely want him playing in OKC at the minimum - he's too far from watchful eyes over there in europe.

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#73 Rogue
March 20 2013, 01:41PM
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Reality is this team needs 4 forwards and 2 dmen before it will be a serious threat. Size and grit up front and the same on the back. Whitney goes for either a quality 3rd line forward or a pick that can packaged with something later.

I know evry one wants to make the playoffs this year, but I would rather wait til next year with a improved team. IF management has a CLUE, that is.

Do not screw the pooch to get in this year!!!

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#74 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 01:43PM
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GVBlackhawk wrote:

No kidding. People bash Gagner just because of size and grit factor. It's ridiculous. Any mention of Gagner's PK numbers this season? NO! Any mention of his point-per-game scoring? Nope. If the Oilers traded Gagner for a big center, the fans would complain because production had decreased at 2C.

Gagner needs to improve 5v5 play and faceoffs. He is still young and can do this, imo.

I would like the team to focus on possession metrics when evaluating potential trade targets -- not be so blinded by size and grit alone.

Agreed.

Gagner's put up some sub-par possession numbers (shot differential and corsi) this year and has benefited from some puck luck. These are clearly areas of concern.

But he's a committed player who is still very young and manages to produce.

you don't sneeze at that, unless you hate winning and the future.

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#75 SephF
March 20 2013, 01:43PM
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Nice article Jason,

Gotta say I disagree with Whitney > Schultz on the PP (even if the PP points per 60 says different).

Schultz is more mobile, better at keeping the puck in at the line and is right handed which is better for our first unit set up. I feel like if Whitney had as many PP minutes as Schultz his production would be lower.

Last week Justin Schultz was 3rd in the entire league for PP points.

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#76 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 01:49PM
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@A-Mc

the player you want is the one LT and Zona were pointing to last Summer:

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=77829

http://www.capgeek.com/player/1135

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&s=32&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=ANA&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

He'd look pretty effing amazing on that 3rd line right now with RNH and Ebs. Huge upgrade on Jones and it would give Hartikainen time to ripen in OKC

But such a player really isn't done any justice by being associated with Brown... apples and oranges.

Klefbom needs a whole year in OKC with minor exceptions for injury call ups. Any push to rush him should be taken as a sign the mgt. is still not ready to be given the keys to the car.

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#77 justDOit
March 20 2013, 02:04PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

What leads you to the conclusion that Gagner is not a natural center?

Beyond that, I think you should re-think two assumptions:

1) that a lack of "size and grit" are what ails this team; and

2) whatever it is you expect from a 22 year old 2nd line Center that allows you to perceive Gagner as coming up short.

I don't know what the math says on Gagner's defensive abilities this season, but to my eye, he has improved in this area. Seeing him pinch off an opponent along the boards and spin out with the puck is something I've noticed more than a few times lately.

But I think he's 23, no?

Irregardlessly, and neverthelesser, I think there would be 29 teams replying to trade scenarios for Gagner. What I doubt, it that they will be willing to part with an impact roster player in return, unless there are contract, injury or age issues. Not what a club on the cusp of completing a rebuild would want in return for him.

Also, isn't Gagner listed at almost the exact same size as Doug Weight in his Edm days? Gagner out-weighs Simmonds by almost 15 lbs, plays with intensity and is willing to drop the gloves once in a while.

But yeah, trade him before his value drops even further! JUSTDOIT!

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#78 justDOit
March 20 2013, 02:12PM
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Got to say, I was more than a little tickled to see that this game is on TSN tonight. Sorry Gene and Louie!

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#79 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 02:16PM
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@justDOit

23... schmutever...

here's his numbers vs. oil Fs:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?db=201213&sit=5v5&type=shots&teamid=12&pos=forwards&minutes=200&disp=1

He's struggling a bit and needs to work on his defensive game, but I agree he appears to be working at it.

And I also agree you probably aren't going to get back fair value

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#80 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 20 2013, 02:37PM
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Good recent summary of where things stand on SG:

http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/3/6/4072226/oilers-prospects-young-guns-sam-gagner

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#81 EHH Team
March 20 2013, 02:57PM
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SephF wrote:

Nice article Jason,

Gotta say I disagree with Whitney > Schultz on the PP (even if the PP points per 60 says different).

Schultz is more mobile, better at keeping the puck in at the line and is right handed which is better for our first unit set up. I feel like if Whitney had as many PP minutes as Schultz his production would be lower.

Last week Justin Schultz was 3rd in the entire league for PP points.

Schultz's production has been down the last 10 games or so, looking like he has hit the wall. He might get a second wind, particularly with the return from the road. However, Whitney looks to me as a much better option on the power play than Potter.

Annoyingly, for the Oilers, it appears that once again the refs are putting away their whistles and power play opportunities are drying up.

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#82 EHH Team
March 20 2013, 03:00PM
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DSF wrote:

All GM's make mistakes.

The smart ones act quickly to make corrections. Had Gardiner been healthy all season I would think Komisarek would have been demoted long ago but the Leafs needed some veteran insurance.

With Hordichuk and Eager being sent down, it appears Tambellini may be figuring this out.

How he handles Whitney may be a bit of a bellweather. There really is no need to move Whitney until the Oilers fall out of the playoff race but, at that point, he should be moved for a second round pick.

For once, I agree with you.

A second round pick might be enough to catch one of the top three rated goaltenders.

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#83 Dog Train
March 20 2013, 03:11PM
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I totally agree about Ryan Whitney. We should be past the point of shipping out useful players for draft picks every year.

Huge game tonight. Lots of teams in the hunt for the 8th spot seem to really be struggling right now with the exception of Columbus who are bound to come back to earth sooner than later. It seems like the top 6 or 7 teams are kind of separating from the pack so we need to keep our recent success going. I'll say 3-2 Oilers.

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#85 Ducey
March 20 2013, 04:09PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You are moving him with the hope you get someting. That is risky. Also, I don't see many teams trading young players for picks at the deadline. Usually deadline deals, involve proven player for picks.

Of course if a great deal turns up that results in the Oilers getting a player that can help, then I'd deal Whitney. But realistically I expect his return to be picks and prospects that won't help them stay in the playoff race this year.

The Oilers have 28 points with 20 games left. So, that would mean 13 wins and a shootout or OT loss to get to 55 points.

They are very unlikely to make the playoffs and 13 games of Whitney won't make much difference anyway.

Trade him.

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#86 EHH Team
March 20 2013, 04:15PM
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Ducey wrote:

The Oilers have 28 points with 20 games left. So, that would mean 13 wins and a shootout or OT loss to get to 55 points.

They are very unlikely to make the playoffs and 13 games of Whitney won't make much difference anyway.

Trade him.

Don't fall in love with point targets. Other than Chicago & Anaheim, there appears to be an incredible amount of parity in the West. It might continue or some teams might get hot and separate themselves. The Oilers have as good a chance as others if only they can get hot at home and catch a few breaks.

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#87 rubbertrout
March 20 2013, 04:16PM
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Truth wrote:

I think the key point is missed on the Whitney trade item. Whitney is a free agent in the off-season and is likely not to be re-signed prior to going to market.

Also, last place Colorado is 4 pts lower than the Oilers and 6 out of a playoff position, and Calgary is 2 pts lower than the Oilers and 4 pts out of a playoff position with 1 game in hand on the Oil. Everyone is in a playoff race.

Losing Whitney to free agency for nothing in return is horrible asset management. Does anyone believe the Oilers are going to win the cup this year with Ryan Whitney? How much do the odds change when Whitney is removed?

It would not be worth it to trade him for a pick outside of the first round. However, if the Oilers could possibly get a 1st for him or a legitimate hockey player in return they do it.

I realize fantasy trade proposals are often just that, but I would like to see Whitney be moved for a player like Drew Stafford out of Buffalo.

Who in their right mind would give up a first for WHITNEY?

Tambo can't trade with himself you know.

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#88 Archaeologuy
March 20 2013, 04:24PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Who in their right mind would give up a first for WHITNEY?

Tambo can't trade with himself you know.

True story, the EXACT same thing was said about Penner.

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#89 StHenriOilBomb
March 20 2013, 04:29PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

True story, the EXACT same thing was said about Penner.

Penner had a year left on his contract.

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#90 OilClog
March 20 2013, 04:30PM
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Whoever thinks replacing any D-man with Potter is a solution.. Maybe you should just watch Basketball or something.

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#91 Forestscooter
March 20 2013, 04:37PM
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Not to be mean. But I think Gregor's comments are a little biased. He seems to like Whitney as a person and uses numbers (which are always subjective) to defend his on ice play. In Gregor's defense I think this is fair he knows things we don't.

On the same note. Gregor seems to not like Willis or anything he says. Do you guys actually hate each other that much or is it for "ratings" ? Gregor hates all stats by Willis but then uses stats to back Whitney. It's like a backyard brawl of my stats are better than your stats because I add perception to my stats where you don't Willis ?

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#93 Ducey
March 20 2013, 04:44PM
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EHH Team wrote:

Don't fall in love with point targets. Other than Chicago & Anaheim, there appears to be an incredible amount of parity in the West. It might continue or some teams might get hot and separate themselves. The Oilers have as good a chance as others if only they can get hot at home and catch a few breaks.

Getting "hot at home and catching a few breaks" is the same as going 13-6-1 :)

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#95 Archaeologuy
March 20 2013, 04:50PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

So every team that lets a UFA go are bad teams? Seems many teams lose players.

Sure, and then we look back and shake our heads at them for getting nothing.

If the Oilers keep Whitney but miss the Playoffs by 1 point OR keep Whitney but he lands back in the dog house during the stretch then what was the point?

He was a healthy scratch 6/7 defenseman all year until the last 2 weeks. Getting a pick in the top 60 for him would be an excellent value.

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#98 Archaeologuy
March 20 2013, 05:01PM
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@Jason Gregor

Jason, that draft pick is 15-20% potential of something. What the Oilers get on July 1 when Whitney signs for another club is guaranteed 100% going to be nothing.

Conversely they could get a prospect who is more of a known commodity or choose to re-sign Whitney themselves.

In any of those scenarios the Oilers Franchise ends up ahead of what happens when they let someone walk for nothing.

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#99 DSF
March 20 2013, 05:02PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

All what ifs...just like the draft pick...And it isn't excellent value, it is 15-20% potential of something...I don't deem that excellent, you do. Fine.

What are the chances that Whitney plays well enough to get the Oilers into the playoffs?

Considering their chances right now are about 19.8 percent WITH Whitney, I wouldn't think they'd be significantly different without him.

If the Oilers plan to re-sign him (which would be a big mistake in my opinion) then, keep him for the rest of the season.

If not, see ya later.

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#100 Lawndemon
March 20 2013, 05:16PM
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Keeping a pending FA when you are in a playoff hunt is the same as trading prospects for one. You don't expect them to re-sign at the end of the season but you want the push to potentially make the dance.

Being part of a playoff push, and having management show confidence in the core, has way more general value than a 2nd round pick. Asset management includes maximizing the assets you plan to retain. Having Whitney in the lineup does more to develop the core than sticking Potter on the ice.

Enough loser talk. It's time for a push.

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