This is the second among a few recurring posts where I break down and discuss different parts of the Oilers and how I think they are going to perform this coming year, their strengths and weaknesses and where we could use some help. First one is here.
This is the best defense group we have had in a long long time. Gilbert and Grebber Grabber are perfect examples on why we should hold on to the young guys on forward. When they get some experience they are golden. The top four are one of the best groups in the league if you ask me. There is lots of talent bubbling under too.
Lets take a peek at what we have on D:
Thats a pretty defense core.
Strength of our defense is that it is a solid group. You have the hammer back there, who pounds the puck, smashes faces and makes the ladies wet. Three solid d-man that can move that puck well (isn’t that what every team wants, just one?) in Visnovsky, Grebeshkov and Gilbert.
The group is split between experienced and youth which is a good mix.
Smid is a scrappy player, and looks to be getting better every time he steps on the ice.
There is also a lot of talent coming up in the minors. When Staios is out we have Peckham who can step right in and replace him. Then Chorney et al.
Staios is overpaid. And losing a step which is a damn shame because he was “Steady Steve” for so long.
Money. I didn’t include the salaries above, but there is 23+ mil invested in defense. 41% of the cap. That is not a good thing. One of the above is going to have to be traded.
Need a Jason Smith. Not only was he one of my favorite players, but he was tough, did the dirty jobs and stopped other teams from scoring. A pure defender would stabilize the defense and would allow us to shop one of the top 4 for not only cap relief but in order to pick up that forward we need.
As I mentioned in the last breakdown, I love this team. But I am pretty sure that my rose colored glasses are not making this defense look prettier than they already are. And with the talent we have coming up, I am happy with the defense. I won’t be terribly surprised if one gets moved for the reasons mentioned above, but I would prefer one of the older players over the younger ones obviously.