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10-30-2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Oilin Toronto View Post
There is a good reason why they will not be more than a 6/7 pairing...we will be too stacked with players like Schultz, Petry, Klef, Smid, Marincin, Musil, Gernat, Whitney, Schultz...etc.

Our pressing need is not a D right now. I'm more concerned about getting a 2nd line C with some size and grit.
You know that's not what I meant. I mean none of those players will ever be more than journeymen. That's like bragging about having the next Kent Huskins in your prospect pool.

And I don't think Schultz, Petry, Klefbom, Smid, Marincin, Musil, Gernat, Whitney, and other Schultz qualifies as "stacked". OEL, Yandle, Gormley, Murphy, and Rundlbad is 'stacked'. Letang, Despres, Maatta, Morrow, Pouliot, Harrington, and Dumoulin is 'stacked'. Pietrangelo, Polak, Shattenkirk, Russell, and Cole is 'stacked'. McDonagh, Staal, Del Zotto, McIlrath, and Sauer is stacked.

J. Schultz could be a high-end #2 defenseman. But he's the only guy in that group with high-end potential. Klefbom has an outside chance of becoming a #2 defenseman, most likely a good second pairing guy. Smid is at best an average #3 defensive defensemen. Petry could be a low-end #2 if he keeps progressing well. But Marincin? Hopefully a #4 guy. Musil? Hasn't done anything of note since being drafted. Gernat? Hopefull not the next MAB. Whitney? Always injured, and only has a half a season's record as anything more than a 4-5 guy. Nick Schultz? Perpetually overrated by Oilers fans because they got absolutely fleeced in the Gilbert trade. He's barely an NHLer.

If the best you can hope for is a long-term top-4 of J. Schultz-Klefbom, Smid-Petry, that's not enough to be a contender when your goaltender is Devan Dubnyk. Not that Dubnyk is bad, just that he isn't a great goaltender like you need if your defense corps isn't elite.

I suspect you're tired of hearing this, because it pops holes in your bubble, but the thing that SC winners have in common is a stud #1 defenseman. Doughty, Chara, Keith, Lidstrom, Gonchar (at the time), Pronger. Justin Schultz, while elite offensively and not bad defensively, is not even close to the caliber of any of those players besides maybe Gonchar. And the biggest problem of course is that by the time all of these defensemen are in their primes, your elite forwards will be off of their ELCs. $6M for Hall is a steal, but $6M for Eberle is bad and that means RNH will want more than that, and Yakupov will deserve more than that, and it's very hard to have the depth to win when you have four >$6M contracts in your forward corps. And the fact is, Horcoff is still on the books at $5.5M per for three more years. That's the entirety of Yakupov's ELC.

The Oilers need an elite #1 defenseman. I don't think Ryan Murray was the answer. But trading Eberle+ for one would be a huge step toward a Cup in my opinion.

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