What’s best for Paajarvi?

By , December 1, 2011 10:11 am
Paajarvi during a better time.. even though he wiffed on it..

Paajarvi during a better time.. even though he wiffed on it..

Put your GM/Coach hat on for a moment. What do you think the Oilers should do with this young fella? I think he’s played well recently. In fact, I’d say he really hasn’t played bad at all this year, despite sitting out a handful of games. I think he’s just had a big mental struggle with the game and lost confidence. I could be wrong, but I think he’s been struggling to score like other good players that have been here and just can’t seem to get it going no matter what they do.

Coaches seem to try and fight those moments off with some hard work on the lower ranks… like Quinn did with Sam Gagner, for example. Magnus Paajarvi has played much of this season on a 3rd line unit that has had some variation to it. It hasn’t really been working for him, that I can see. I think his work level has been fairly consistent, so take note that I don’t think that he’s been a bad player or have regrets we drafted him. I’m just asking.. what’s best for Paajarvi?

To me, I think the Oilers really have two options here…:

Option 1: Let him sink or swim in a top-six role for MORE than one game at a time (for christsakes, let the kid build up some chemistry/momentum). If he fails there, then consider option 2.
Option 2: Send him down to Oklahoma City and bring someone else up. Perhaps they call up Gilbert Brule, despite needing to clear re-entry waivers. Are we really in fear of him getting claimed after this Lombardi fiasco? Lombardi practically did us a favor, in that regard.

Option 1… well, I don’t really see that happening because the Oilers are in the playoff hunt. It’s only December, but we all know Elliott Friedman’s research in regards to the importance of being above the playoff cut line this early in the season. If not, read here. So on that note, it might be too risky to play Paajarvi in a top six role and bring out a guy there that is already doing well. So we can scratch that idea.

That leaves us with option 2… send him down. I’d do this. As I said, I have absolutely nothing against Paajarvi. I really love him, as a matter of fact, and think he’ll be a great player. My hope here is just to do what we can to help him get over this incredible hump that he seems to be stuck on. I think playing in the AHL will help him become the player he should become. Think of Eric Staal and how big of a leap he took following the lockout year in which he was assigned to the Lowell Lock Monsters of the AHL. Let him light it up down there for a bit, and bring someone else up here for a bit who will fit in more with Jones and Belanger.

For the record, Paajarvi does NOT require waivers to be sent to Oklahoma City (he has to play 2 more years up here or 59 NHL games to require waivers). So, now is the time to do it if they wish to do it.

What say you? Sound off about it in the comment section too.

Should the Oilers send Paajarvi to Oklahoma City?

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11 Responses to “What’s best for Paajarvi?”

  1. Dman09 says:

    I think even a 15 game stretch down there would help him out and I also think they would be able to work with him down there on creating a physical game. They guy has the size and ability be rarely uses it. Maybe someone needs to make him mad, thats the only time we saw it from Penner, MPS could be the same.

  2. mrgod2u says:

    Option 3: Package him and Gagner up for someone we can use right now. Find out if Anaheim will take this and some draft picks for Ryan…

  3. chucker says:

    Anyone on our third or fourth line will not get chances like he did last year. Put him on the PP and with Lander and another skilled winger and he will be fine.

  4. Racki says:

    Yah that’s the thing.. Renney hasn’t really been using him on the PP. He’s cold, and he’s treating him like you would a cold player when you’re trying to make the playoffs.. get him the eff away from other good players. And I understand that, cause we have a legit chance. But this is why I think sending him down would do him better than here. Here, we’re trying to make the show still, and he isn’t helping that cause any. Down in the AHL, I have no doubts he could help them out and be a top liner. He’ll get loads of ice time and opportunity.

  5. Grass&sOIL says:

    I would try him on his off wing on the PP.

  6. dawgtoy says:

    He should be playing in the farm. He needs to be playing big minutes and learning how to shield the puck. Also needs to learn to use his size to compliment his speed. He is too often playing the perimeter game and it appears that he is suffering from a combination of lack of confidence and fear. All this can be corrected with ample playing time, which he won’t receive here right now. When he rediscovers his game, the coaches will rediscover their confidence in playing him. Cornet has been lights out on the farm, if he doesn’t get a call-up it sends a poor message to the players on the farm.

  7. oilinblood says:

    if i was coach/gm, i would leave this up to magnus himself. like you said racki; magnus hasnt been playing poorly. for most of the year he has played pretty well, with the only issue i have with him is his reactions after taking high sticks etc. if magnus wants to go down to OKC for 5 or 6 games and get to handle the puck alot more than i can see the benefit in that. I wouldnt want him to see it as a demotion though. there is only so much a guy like that can do with 8 minutes along side belanger and jones or petrell. if he chose to go down for a few games we can reward a guy like Harti. the OKC team has come together pretty well after being thumped in game #1.

    as for Cornet, i dont think you send Magnus down to bring him up. If Magnus goes down we need an nhl 3rd liner because top 6 is filled. if a top 6 injury happens and we need a call up cornet is an option. This is why Omarra was a call-up. it would be poor management to bring cornet up from OKC -who are # in div- to play 8 minutes on the 3rd line opening.

  8. Racki says:

    While it may not be fun to do, I don’t think you can really give Magnus the choice. Cause any player in their right mind would say no to going down. a) it’s a huge pay cut b) he probably wouldn’t want to look like he’s given up to the coaches, fans or teammates either. Couldn’t see that happening. Gotta make the tough choices as a coach. Just express to him as best as you can that the team (management/coaches) see it as a way to get him more ice time and help him polish his game a bit which playing on line 3 won’t do as well for him.

  9. Johnny says:

    My personal choice would be to let Hemsky sit as a healthy scratch for 2-3 games and move Paajarvi up into the top 6 for those games to give him some minutes. You can see his frustration almost every time he finishes a shift. The guy needs some minutes. Frankly, I was a little surprised that he wasn’t in the shootout lineup against the Wild (Nov. 30). That would have been a great game to give him an opportunity instead of Smyth. He played 13 minutes that game and had 6 shots on net — nothing to lose by putting him in the shootout lineup.

    He also needs some mentorship. The guy has been away from his home since he was 16 and he needs some support to help him with his confidence. He’ll toil away and eat himself up unless and until he opens up to someone. Anyway, if he doesn’t pan out in the top 6, send him to OKC for a few weeks to let him get some big minutes.

    I disagree about trading Gagner or bringing anyone else up from OKC right now. Hall is back soon and there’s no room for anyone else right now. Players peak at different times, so I have no concerns about Gagner, Belanger or Lander. They’ll find their groove as long as they keep their compete level high.

  10. Racki says:

    Hey Johnny, great thoughts there. I can get behind a lot of that, actually… especially the Gagner-sentiment. I’m an avid supporter of him, and think he’s starting to show his value now that he’s playing with the Nuge and Eberle. He’s a hard worker.

    As far as Paajarvi, I like the idea of sitting Hemsky for a bit to give him a shot. I had a bit of thought that maybe with Hall back, they should try Hall and Paajarvi together (since Gagner has stolen his spot temporarily), but that is doubtful to happen. Today Hall practiced with Horcoff and Hemsky, and Paajarvi drew the short stick again.

    I don’t think Paajarvi has been bad, and I wouldn’t say either that Renney is mishandling him. However, I still think the Oilers should send him down to get some confidence in the AHL. It isn’t a punishment, but more for his benefit.. more ice time without adversely affecting the team. But I would have also liked to have seen him with maybe hall and Horcoff to see if playing with a good sniper like Hall could get him going.

  11. Racki says:

    Interesting comment from Renney today. In fairness, the media pressed him about it, but I find it interesting that he didn’t completely shoot down the idea:

    From the Edmonton Journal

    When asked if Paajarvi was going to the minors soon for a few weeks, Renney laughed. “Five weeks in a row you’ve asked that question,” said Renney. “It’s a fair question. We’re at the point where we have to make a strong decision.”

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