Bryan Young is an underrated defensive option who is seen hammering some guy to the ice. I think Bryan Young is the kind of player we need to call up to the team. More on that later.
The Oilers won 3-0 with Vancouver in town tonight in what was a bit of an unorganized game. What counts though is the 2 points in the standings, not the way you win the game. Though the puck movement was a bit off tonight, two things were noticeably improved tonight:
a) defensive zone coverage
With the exception of our lacklustre 5-on-3 powerplays, our intensity was consistent throughout the game with perhaps the end of the 1st period as the opposite. However, watching puck movement by defensive guys like Smid has made one thing apparent to me: if Strudwick and Staios could be considered expendable before, they pretty much don't contribute anything now. Souray can play defensively and offensively; Gilbert has held his own; Visnovsky and Grebeskhov are smooth puck movers. What does Staios bring to this team? He doesn't even lead the team in blocked shots or ice time. The warrior has been on this team a long time and is a leader in the dressing room.
But his time has come.
Bryan Young is a stay-at-home defenseman who might be described as a cross between Scott Ferguson and Colin White. If MacTavish is going to play anyone who does't contribute on the scoreboard (Staios), it might as well be someone who hits people and hits them in a devastating way. Bryan Young is well known for his open-ice hits.
As for Theo "the Sean Brown comparable" Peckham, who is either NHL ready or almost NHL ready, he too would be a useful addition to this team. But with all the offense being exhibited by the top 3, I would argue that Young is more needed at this moment.
Plus, we would save a ton of cash playing Young over Staios and Strudwick. Smid has shown he's ready in my opinion The organization gave up on Greene and if it was because they felt they had enough D depth in the system, then its time to hand Smid the reigns.
As a result of Nilsson reasserting the lock on his job against Vancouver tonight, he has proved that he is more valuable on this team than not. I don't think that Sam Gagner has done that yet, not the way that guys like Andrew Cogliano or Ladislav Smid play like NHL regulars. He still needs to show that he can do the job better than AHL callups like Schremp or Brule. The kid line experiment may not be over but the fact that the components are so replaceable means bad things for job security. At least it should in a fair world. Even poster boys like Sam Gagner should need to prove their worth once in a while.
Movement in the ranks...
Prospect, Player or Trade Bait?
Sam Gagner *
|Questionable Roster Spot Zone|
Zack Stortini **
|Prime Trade Bait|
|Questionable Roster Spot Zone|
|Mathieu Roy **||Dump Zone|
* Sam Gagner - he's a clever one this Samwise and he makes all sorts of smart plays, sure. But he's still a work in progress.
** Zack Stortini - there are guys who can do his job on this team. His trade value might be low, but his value to this team is lower.
*** Mathieu Roy - I still think he's a great player but he is an NHL ready player who deserves a chance in another NHL city.
Note: for anyone unfamiliar with the rules of the list, listed players must have at least one game of NHL experience.
Full rules and notes here.