Quite the week it's been. I predicted that the Kings would sweep the Devils in the Stanley Cup finals and it looks pretty close to happening. I've been listening to a lot of Bob Stauffer and Lowetide on the iPod and listening to the guests the have on and what their opinions are really gets the brain bone stirring. So my blog today will be about the future of the Oilers defense and what young NHLers could we possibly acquire to help out…
Before the jump I'd like to let you all know that I do have a twitter account, @beerleagueheroe, and a Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!
So at the moment the Oilers NHL defense looks like this (in no particular order):
• Ryan Whitney - Jeff Petry
• Ladislav Smid - Nick Schultz
• Theo Peckham - Andy Sutton
• Corey Potter
Our prospects include (in no particular order):
• Colton Teubert - Alex Plante
• Martin Marancin - Martin Gernat
• Oscar Klefbom - Taylor Fedun
• Dillion Simpson - Brandon Davidson
• David Musil
At first glance it seems alright. Everyone is over 6 feet tall and close to 200 lbs if not over. There's a mix of good ol' Canadian grit and some European skill in our prospects. But our big team is really lacking a PURE offensive defenseman. Someone along the lines of a Kris Letang, Erik Karlsson, or Mike Green.
Sure Whitney used to be a great offensive force and it would be outstanding if he could rekindle that old flame but to bet on that would be throwing good money away. Petry has shown to have some offensive abilities, good enough to fill a spot on the 2nd power play unit. Marancin and Gernat are big boys that can pass and shoot which bodes well for a power play that is playing in quicksand and it's my hopes that Klefbom will turn out to be a Niklas Lidstrom like defenseman, steady and smart.
"What do you suggest?" is the question I imagine is on your mind. Well I've made a list of defenseman around the NHL that I feel would fill the role of offensive defenseman that the Edmonton Oilers need.
• David Runblad or Keith Yandle (Phoenix Coyotes): I think that Phoenix has taken the Nashville Predators blueprint of development here. They've got a ton of great young blueliners including Runblad, Connor Murphy, Brandon Gormely, and Oliver Ekman Larsson.
• John Carlson (Washington Capitals): I've had a love-hate thing with Carlson ever since he scored against Canada in OT at the World Juniors. He's clutch. He gets points and he's not slight in stature.
• Justin Schultz (Anaheim Ducks, RFA): Word has it that Justin Schultz is greater than Bobby Orr. But maybe that's just the Edmonton media listening to Bob Mackenzie. The stuff that's on youtube and the reports online say he's a helluva talent and not one to miss. A right-handed rushing offensive defenseman is a rarity these days.
• Ryan Murphy (Carolina Hurricanes): Think Dan Boyle. He's got the tools to be an excellent point producing defenseman. Let's hope his size and concussion history don't let him down.
• Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw Warriors): Not yet drafted but already compared to players like Erik Karlsson, Phil Housley, and Scott Neidermayer. Morgan Rielly could be a guy to take a gamble on.
If the Oilers can get their hands on Justin Schultz, then we should be set. I envision him either coming out of the gates strong and petering out later on or taking a season to adjust. If we can't sign Schultz, then we're gonna have to make a deal and out of all the players I've noted above, Phoenix might be the best partner.
Now the Edmonton Oilers are in a position to overpay because we have a lot of "cookies in the cupboard" if you will. So how about a couple of proposals:
To Phoenix: Corey Potter, Martin Gernat, Tobias Reider
To Edmonton: David Runblad, 5th round pick
The Coyotes get a cheap reliable defender and two skilled prospects who will have time to develop in the minors. They don't give up anything from the current roster and add to their asset pool.
To Phoenix: Ryan Whitney and Martin Marancin
To Edmonton: Keith Yandle
Whitney would definitely replace Yandle and give Runblad a chance on the big league team. Marancin goes to the minors to hone his skills.
To Carolina: Hemsky and a 5th
To Edmonton: Carolina's 2012 First round pick
I heard that Carolina is shopping it's first round pick and I'd be willing to make a play for it. We'll have Nail Yakupov at no.1, so let's take Morgan Rielly or Griffin Reinhart at no.8. I say Reinhart because seeing him with Klefbom or Musil would be nothing short of outstanding. You just hope that Reinhart doesn't turn into an Alex Plante or Thomas Hickey.
So in the end we all know that Edmonton need's upgrades on defense the most and a pure offensive d-man is probably not on the cards given we'll have 6 guys on forward that will be able to shoulder the scoring burden. Maybe Griffin Reinhart is a better pick than Morgan Rielly this year but I am for certain that our defense would be better with a Keith Yandle or a David Runblad. And by this time next year we could be looking forward to an Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz pairing.
Thanks for reading guys and don't forget! Follow me on Twitter @beerleagueheroe and LIKE my Facebook page. Peace!