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Shuffling Deck Chairs

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The Finns are back and they <em>will</em> hurt you. Just look into their eyes.
The Finns are back and they will hurt you. Just look into their eyes.

The Edmonton Oilers have recalled Teemu Hartikainen, Lennart Petrell, and Taylor Chorney from the Oklahoma City Barons to replace Josh Green, Ryan O`Marra, and Colten Teubert who were all demoted after last night's game. It's a move designed to give the whole team a kick in the pants by targeting the players on the margins that you can actually target, but at least in this case there's some chance that the team is marginally better off because of the move.

It's no secret that the three guys headed to the minors have struggled at the NHL level, but it's not like the guys replacing them have set the world on fire either. Lennart Petrell has been bad enough at even strength that Derek said, "on a healthy Oilers team, Lennart Petrell is unlikely to see the NHL again." Luckily for Petrell (but not for us), the Oilers still aren't healthy, and so his four points in nine AHL games along with his NHL C.V. of solid positional play in his defensive zone and a nice contribution on the PK was enough to get him another chance.

Taylor Chorney is more of the same. He's looked good in the AHL over the last two seasons, but every time he's come up to the NHL, he's been awful. And in this circumstance, he gives the Oilers an extra left-handed defender, which will put someone out of position on the third pairing. At the beginning of the season, that someone was often Theo Peckham, and I can only hope (for his sake as much as anyone else's) that that isn't what we see now.

But Teemu Hartikainen is a different animal. He hasn't shown much improvement offensively at the AHL level so far this season (0.66 points per game this season compared to 0.64 last season), but he does have the third-best Corsi rate on the team so far this year! Obviously, we're talking about a tiny sample (three games for Hartikainen, and because I didn't set a minimum one of the guys ahead of him is Milan Kytnar), but he had a Corsi number in the black last season too (in twelve games), and showed some actual offense to go with it. Out of these six guys, Hartikainen is the only one who's had actual success in the NHL, and my oh my do the Oilers ever need a few more players who can say that.