In the next few days every team is going to be trimming players from their rosters. Many of these players - like Rob Schremp - will end up on waivers. Now, the Oilers don't need Rob Schremp but they may want to take a closer look at some of the players who will be available on the waiver wire over the next several days. I'm going to draw attention to a player or two over the next several days who might be able to help the Oilers and that, my new found friends, begs the question: who's up first?
That last bit was for Derek.
The first player of interest is Adam Hall, currently of the Tampa Bay Lightning (how bad are we to consider taking dregs from the Lightning). This player has several things that the Oilers lack. Firstly, Hall is a bigger body. This isn't the most important thing to me, but it is an area where Oiler management has said they wanted to improve. At 6'3'' and over 200 lbs. Hall fits the bill (though to be fair he's not particularly physical). Secondly, Hall is an experienced NHL player having played in 426 career NHL regular season games and another 31 in the playoffs. A lot of us who follow the Oilers enjoy following prospects and seeing them develop. That said, most guys under 30 with over 400 NHL games are going to help this team win a whole lot more than Gilbert Brule or Liam Reddox will this year. Maybe those two will be nice contributors in the future but for now, they're still learning.
Looking at the quality of his ice time last year, Hall was put in the "Kyle Brodziak" role for the Lightning, getting thrown onto the ice against poor competition with equally poor teammates for many more EV faceoffs in the defensive zone (162) than the end of the ice where your team might score (71). Although he only took 338 faceoffs (5th most on his team), many of these were in defensive situations where a won draw is significant. His faceoff percentage last year (exactly 50% overall and significantly better if his PK faceoffs are taken out of the mix) was better than every current Oiler save Horcoff. Oh, and did I mention he's right-handed?
So, all well and good about the tough assignment, how did he do? The results, while bad, are better than one should reasonably expect. Given the context of his ice time, his Corsi of -48 bad at all. His -9 at EV can instead be chalked up to a poor PDO number of 97.3. Admittedly, part of that low number is the inability of he and his linemates to shoot anywhere but the goalie's crest but that number still looks a bit on the low side.
What about the money? Every transaction needs to take the cap into account. This is what really helps Hall to shine. He's making a paltry $600,000 over the next two years ("Half of Brodziak's salary and double the results! Order now and you'll also receive..."). Given the potential for a cap decline in the coming season, picking up a useful veteran who's playing for near the league minimum in the heart of his career could end up being a great bet.