For the first time in my in my life watching the Oilers, I've come to realize that this team has no identity. Before it was all about the grit and determination. Ryan Smyth, Ethan Moreau, Chris Pronger, etc. or superb shotblockers Marty Reasoner and Jason Smith all brought an edge to this team in 2006 and that's something Kevin Lowe/Steve Tambellini haven't replaced. Moreau has slowly declined into an abyss of collecting the paycheque. Staios is usually 5 feet behind the play to actually cause any sort of impact. I'll admit Souray started the season strong, Norris strong, but he too has declined into mediocrity.
The most telling stat of our "softness" is the fact we're 30th in the league in hits. My understanding is that Kevin Lowe was gonna build a team in the 07 Sabres or 08 Wings mold, neither of which were very physical teams. What Klowe didn't realize is those teams were stacked with skilled from top to bottom. I don't know about you guys, but any team that has Liam Reddox playing on the first line can't be a very skilled team. I actually have no problem with Reddox, it's just MacT's improper use of him is creating a major hate for him among the fanbase.
Anyways, we have a major surplus of offensive defensemen. We have 4 that would probably be wanted by most teams around the league. What we don't have is a D-man that says "Hey, get the **** out of my crease". Smid was good at that last year, but it seems like this year he's more focused on improving his puck skills which I'm totally fine with, he's still got a mean streak. This is where Matt Greene would of been great to have, he was great in the lockerroom and was quickly becoming a great shutdown D-man.
So, my idea is to move one of our surplus offensive d-man, anyone of Souray, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Visnovsky to get that 100% essential shutdown D-man. I would preferably like to move one of the larger contacts to create cap space. Some of the guys the Oilers should be looking at are Volchenkov: Ottawa's in a dive for the top 5, they desperately need a puck mover, I think they'll want youth so moving Gilbert+ could be ideal for both sides. Another guy I would like is Komisarek: upcoming UFA, Montreal has about 10 UFA's this off-season and they won't have the money to keep all of them, I could see a Grebeshkov++ for Komisarek. Andy Sutton is another guy I would like, but he's a more riskier bet, he's currently out with an ankle injury he has a definite mean streak and a rocket of a shot(, but he plays for a always rebuilding Islanders team, I would love to pry him and Dougie Weight out of there for a playoff push.
That's it for now, Peace.