Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Interesting debate going over at Lowetide's site in a thread about his comments on Oilers' callup Tom Gilbert.
Signed or will be signed on the blueline for next season:
LD - Smid, Grebeshkov, Syvret, Chorney
RD - Smith, Staios, Greene, Gilbert, Roy
With the acquisitions of Smid and Grebeskov and the emergence of Gilbert, Roy and Chorney as bona fide prospects what looked to be a weakness (youthful defensive depth) is suddenly a strength.
So what does Lowe do?
Option #1 - Sign Hejda or Shaggy and go with a similar configuration as this year. Crazy? Well, I would bet Grebeshkov, Smid and one of the other kids are in the top seven again next season. So we could see Hejda/Smith, Smid/Staios, Grebeshkov/Greene plus Gilbert as your seventh.
Result - another wasted season as the kids get their atbats in preparation for 2009 and 2010. Chance of this happening - pretty slim but then again who thought this season would play out like it did. Let's say 20%.
Option #2 - Lowe trades Torres and Greene to Philly for Pitkanen. Both players are "Philly type players" and I don't think Lowe is going to give up on Lupul yet. Now I would trade him while he's one season removed from 28 goals but that's me. On top of that he resigns Hejda and Shaggy. So we get Pitkanen/Smith, Shaggy/Staios, Hejda/Smid plus Grebeshkov as your seventh.
Result - a veteran D with three guys who can move the puck (yes, I am including Smid in there) - happy days are here again. Jacques takes Torres' role over so while he is missed, JFJ and Moreau bring that edge that has been missing up front.
Chance of this happening - again slim, the reason being that I'm pretty sure that they want to get Grebeshkov and Gilbert some minutes (unless they move Gilbert); also while I like Shaggy the whole pubic bone thing is troublesome. Now I could tell you a lot about public boners, not so much about pubic bones, but any inflammation that knocks a guy out for months doesn't sound like a simple case to diagnose.
(How does one get an inflamed pubic bone anyway? Row, Raggy, that rurts!")
Option # 3
The Oilers pick up Pitkanen, hopefully moving Greene as part of the package. They also resign Hejda. Pitkanen/Smith, Smid/Staios, Hejda/Grebeshkov, Gilbert is your seventh. There you have your three stay at home vets and your three puck movers as well as Gilbert in the wings. I'd move Greene, I truly would. Gilbert's skill set fits the league better.
Result - Still some unhappy moments for Oiler fans and Roloson but if Smid cannot handle the top four then Hejda slides in and I'm thinking Gilbert or the Russian are an improvement on big Matt Greene. A little more mobile, a little more skilled and this D doesn't break the bank. (If Smyth and Sykora and Lupul or Torres go then who's going to score goals next year? It will be the forwards' turn to be the weak link if Lowe doesn't figure that out - but that's for another post)
Chance of this happening - pretty good, better then even, maybe even more then the 60% I've got left. Hejda is going to be a reasonably priced guy and I think they are going to move on Joni or someone similar. Having said that I think they're going to try to give the kids as many ABs as they can.
Posted by Black Dog at 7:47 PM