Sing the Blues: we didn't get what we want or what we need

So we resigned Jason Strudwick today. I can't say I am upset or happy about this . . . Shepso and I were talking one day about what value he brings to the Oilers. Our conclusion: he must be one hell of an influence during practices. So the Oilers are re-doing there blueline this week, but it doesn't seem to be that much of an improvement. Here is my version of the depth chart:

1) Ryan Whitney. 6'3" and 210 lbs. age 27. last season: 81 games played, 7 goals, 32 assists, 30 points, +1, 70 PiMs, 151 shots

2) Tom Gilbert. 6'3" and 206 lbs. age 27. last season: 82 games, 5 goals, 26 assists, 31 points, -10, 16 PiM, and 98 shots.

3) Ladislav Smid. 6'3" and 226 lbs. age 24. last season: 51 games played, 1 goal, 8 assists, 9 points, +5, 39 PiM, and 36 shots.

4) Kurtis Foster. 6'5" and 223 lbs. age 28. last season: 71 games, 8 goals, 34 assists, 42 points, -5, 48 PiMs, and 165 shots.

5) James Vandermeer. 6'1" and 210 lbs. age 30. last season: 62 games, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, +3, 60 PiMs, and 64 shots.

6) Theo Peckham. 6'2" and 223 lbs. age 22. NHL totals: 31 games played, zero goals, one point, -9, 104 PiMs, and 17 shots

7) Jason Strudwick. 6'4" and 225 lbs. age 34. last season: 72 games, zero goals, 6 points, -18, 50 PiMs, and 19 shots.

The Bull Pen: 8- Chorney (5'11", 182 lbs, 23 years old), 9- Richard Petiot (6'2", 190lbs, 27 years old), 10- Alex Plante (6'4", 225lbs, 21 years old), 11- Jeff Petry (6'3", 176 lbs, 22 years old), 12- Johan Motin (6'1" 202 lbs, 20 years old)

Well, there is some things to like about this group. The first is age Foster/Whitney/Gilbert are entering their prime with the old men (Strudwick and Vandermeer) on expiring contracts, and Peckham/Smid/most of the bull pen being around the age of the core we are setting up. Second is size, other then 'Chaos-Chorney' no one is under six feet. Gilbert and Foster are not overly physical players, but the rest have some reputation for aggressiveness: if Whitney, Vandermeer, Peckham and Strudies all continue their on ice aggression, and Smid feeds a Kevlar and Graphite sandwich to the first winger that attempts to hit him next fall then we should be in fine shape. Third, they don't cost a hell of a lot: if Strudwick and Peckham sign for 0.8 million each, the whole blueline costs us only 15 million dollars.

But there is also a lot not to like about this group. First is they don't shot a lot (well, only Foster shots a lot): Peckham, Strudwick, Smid, and Vandermeer are not good shooters, leaving Gilbert, Whitney, and Foster as the only shooters for the power play. This is not encouraging, since that is only three players that can play on the power play and eventually one is going to get hurt. Second, there is a serious drop off in talent in the second pairing. Smid is not a 3D, he is a 4D; Vandermeer and Foster should be on the bottom pairing, Peckham should start in the press box, not on the ice; Strudwick should be the 8th D / 14th Forward . . . you know used in practice, if there is multiple injuries, or if someone needs a good kick in the ass. Third, is the lack of veterans in the bullpen. I would like to see OKC have some more veterans to help shelter the kids and give them time to develop, also to bring a better (then zero) chance of them winning in triple AAA, and lastly in case we need to call up players based on injuries.

The Oilers need another NHL Defenseman. This cannot be the line up we enter the season with. I would have been happy with either Milan Jurcina (one year, one million dollars) or Mark Eaton (2 years at 2.5 Million a year). I would have thrown a party and paid for the booze if the Oilers got Hamhuis or Volchenkov (while I would have give a little more money and one year less on the contract), or Paul Martin. Also we need two or three AHL defensemen . . . Come on Tambo 3.0 start fixing the blue line and quit tinkering with it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have an excellent #2 or #3 D in Souray, or did we forget about that?