Friday, July 6, 2012
Depth Chart: July 2012 Edition
This is what I have the lines setup at the moment.
- The ultimate offense line. Likely cannot play powerplay together as they all shoot left, but with speed to burn off the wings, they should prove to be a handful for opposing defensemen, as long as they have their skating legs, without them, they are likely neutralized. Its a line that has a lot of offensive dynamics to it. Excellent passers and shooters on this line.
- If the first line is the fastball, then this line is the changeup. Should able to establish a decent cycle game and be more efficient in the offensive zone. The key will be in Hemsky limiting his turnovers. Fits in with my playmaker-shooter-netcrasher combo I like as a template. Eberle at center might be a bit of a gamble, but one with the highest reward without having to fudge the rest of the lines. Eberle's cerebral play should help him with the transition. He'll need time and reps to get acclimated to the position. I believe Eberle to be a better all around player than what Sam Gagner would otherwise bring to the position.
- Horcoff moves to the wing for three reasons. One, to get his skating legs going again and two, Belanger is a better faceoff man and three, is marginally better in defensive zone coverage. The key for this line is, to shut their mouths and know their roles. Don't get scored on and maintain some puck pressure. Buy-in, buy-in, buy-in.
- In my eyes, Paajarvi and Lander need to break camp with the club. Thats of course as long as they show they are NHL capable in all zones, which I have little doubt they will be. Eager gets his chance with some mildly offensive talent. Need more hits from Eager. If he doesn't finish north of 150 hits this season, I will be disappointed. This line to needs 10 minutes a game, one, to keep them engaged and two, to keep the other lines fresh. Stick to the plan.
- Petrell and Hordichuk are safe options but don't turn my crank in terms of offensive/defensive output. They will keep the top 12 honest enough as they at least bring a consistant physical element. But if either of them get 60+ games on the Oilers, the Oilers are likely toast.
- For better or for worse, Smid and Petry have graduated to the big minute, shutdown pair. Both coming off of semi-solid seasons, and have their arrows going the right way. A regression from either of these two and the Oilers could be in a world of hurt. Goal stopping needs to occur somewhere in the lineup. These two need to keep trending upward for the Oilers to have a hope.
- It's a bit ambitious to think Taylor Fedun can play a top 4 role. Its a high risk/high reward move, but one that could pay big time dividends. Fedun's mobilty/offensive ability would give the Oilers a push the pace defensive unit. Ideally the Oilers would like to find a suitable trade to fill this spot and have Fedun battle J.Schultz for the #6 spot. But if the Oilers found no takers, I could feel pretty comfortable with this. To be honest, I might have more concerns about Ryan Whitney rebounding to a competant NHL defender.
- I have Andy Sutton playing ahead of Nick Schultz and the reason being, the Oilers need more of a fear element on the backend and Sutton is it. Sutton would be a better security blanket for J.Schultz to break into the pros. It give a good toughness/mobility combo on this unit. J.Schultz could potentially break into the top 4 if need be.
- Its tough to have a 3.5 million dollar Dman sitting in the pressbox. While Schultz is versatile and safe, he doesn't excel in any one area. A non-descript Dman. He will be good to have as a security blanket and to push the kids but if the kids are playing well, he's a player I'd have out of the lineup. He and Sutton could potentially flip in and out depending on matchups. N.Schultz gives more mobility and Sutton gives more toughness.
- Fresh off a new 2 year, 7 million dolllar deal, Dubnyk looks to be the one to take over the twine in Oilerville. Dubnyk ended the season, well, but not sure it was well enough to warrant that kind of cash. We'll have to see how this one plays because he got paid more on potential than on past accomplishments.
- Khabibulin doesn't inflict a lot of fiath into the position these days. Best case scenario is Dubnyk lives up to expectations and Khabibulin is the backup and plays occasionally. If Dubnyk falters and Khabibulin gets the bulk of the games, its gonna be another long season.
- Gagner is the best trade option for the Oilers without upsetting the apple cart too much. He's the best option to land that veteran top 4 Dman the Oilers covet.
- Would be a good throw in on a deal. I'd rather keep him, but the Oilers ran out of room for him when they resigned Sutton. With the Oilers trying to get more mobility out of their defense, Peckham's time has likely come to a close. I feel like another Matt Greene is being cast aside.
- His time is done here. He doesn't want to be here, Oilers don't want him, time for everyone to move along. The Oilers will be lucky to get anything of substance for him.
- It speaks to my faith in Corey Potter, when I have 0 games of NHL experience in Taylor Fedun and Justin Schultz ranked ahead of him. The Oilers don't need one trick ponies anymore. The likes of Kurtis Foster and Corey Potter need not apply. Might fetch something as a throw-in, but is more likely to be drawing an NHL salary in the AHL. Another dreadful signing in a long list of dreadful signings.
This is where its at for now. Hopefully the Oilers aren't done trying to wheel and deal, as they have some spare parts. Trying to deal away some of the oerpaid would also be beneficial. We'll see what happens from now until training camp. The Oilers are getting closer to the end goal, but a long way away from achieving any kind of moderate success.