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Old
04-11-2010, 12:27 PM
  #1
Soundwave
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Whitney-Gilbert

These guys really have been very strong together. Ryan Whitney is now a whopping +7 since joining the Oilers and Gilbert is on fire.

Lubo's a good guy and he generates more offense than Whitney (though the gap has been closing steadily the last little while), but he is by comparision -6 on a team with better goaltending, veteran forwards, and Neidermayer on the back end too.

You get more offense from Lubo, but Whitney has generated good offense here too and has been much stronger defensively and more physical.

Our D really hasn't missed a beat since jettisoning Grebs/Staois/Lubo surprisingly. In fact it's gotten better I'd say.

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04-11-2010, 12:39 PM
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Whitney has been a huge surprise since he's gotten here...he's shown leadership, made Gilbert a player again and is a plus player

I hope he continues his play throughout next year

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04-11-2010, 12:40 PM
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I'm liking Whitney, too, but its a small sample size, and he's playing on a team with zero pressure right now. There are warning signs about this guy, from both his time in Anaheim and Pittsburgh.

There was a thread at the beginning of this season about what a stud Grebeshkov was, too. . . most talented players can look good for 15-20 games.

Even if Whitney falls apart, though, I like the trade just on the basis of the cap-space and contract term it cleared.

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04-11-2010, 12:43 PM
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Yeah I hope Whitney-Gilbert can continue to play well.

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04-11-2010, 01:16 PM
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I -like most- fans utterly despised the trade to start off. That being said, Whitney has been an utter stud. His vision and passing is on par with what we saw in 2006 with CMFP. Also his chemistry with Gilbert has been an instant win, I think it's not out of the realm of possibility to see these 2 get 40+ points next year and be +10 or better.

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04-11-2010, 01:27 PM
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More then anything I think they found a great pair, two guys that really read of each other. Both are just on the same waive length out there.

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04-11-2010, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Oilers1 View Post
I'm liking Whitney, too, but its a small sample size, and he's playing on a team with zero pressure right now. There are warning signs about this guy, from both his time in Anaheim and Pittsburgh.

There was a thread at the beginning of this season about what a stud Grebeshkov was, too. . . most talented players can look good for 15-20 games.

Even if Whitney falls apart, though, I like the trade just on the basis of the cap-space and contract term it cleared.
Yeah, could just be the proverbial sour grapes and rationalizing of the trade, but I remember a whole lot of celebrating going on in the Ducks board upon learning of this deal. The common claim: he's great at the start but then falters, and shows zero grit.

Sometimes a change of scenery works wonders. So does an opportunity to play a more important role or to essentially show the 'finger' to the squad that deals you. Whitney was shocked and seemingly not so pleased with the trade initially, but his on-ice play seems to indicate that he's adapting well and will have plenty to offer this squad over the next couple years (at least).

As for Gibber, suddenly his previously ludicrous contract (based on his performance) is well worth it. Whitney's consistency seems to have alleviated the pressure that Grebeshkov's erratic play meant was on Gilbert.

No reason this pair can't each score 45 pts next season, assuming the health factor. I'm not expecting Gilbert to maintain a point-per-game rate as he currently is since Whitney's arrival, but I'm looking forward to watching them together for a whole season.

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04-11-2010, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by okgooil View Post
More then anything I think they found a great pair, two guys that really read of each other. Both are just on the same waive length out there.
Shows how important chemistry between players is. Just like the Sedins, alone they are very very good, together they are elite.

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04-11-2010, 03:27 PM
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One thing to differentiate Whitney's stay in Edmonton from Pittsburgh and Anaheim is that he is now a go-to guy on the backend. With our lineup back there, and Souray's absence, Whitney has had to shoulder the load and has looked great doing it. He's played a ridiculous number of minutes and the coaching staff has great confidence in him.

It's quite possible Souray will not be back next year, and in that case, Whitney suddenly takes over our defence corps and likely has a letter on his sweater next year. We talk about the change of scenery being beneficial, but it's also important for coaching staffs to engage young players, give them something to inspire to, and make them feel like a valuable part of the team. Our coaching staff has done that, and Whitney has responded very positively. Certainly there are red flags to watch for next season, but given the circumstances surrounding the trade, I'm extremely pleased with how it's turned out.

Also give honourable mention to Johnson, who was thought to be a #7 at best. He has handled the workload quite nicely here, and I'd love to see him back as a 5-7 guy next year on a cheap contract.

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04-11-2010, 03:32 PM
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I'd actually be OK if Tamby just focuses on the forward group in the summer.


Whitney Gilbert
Souray Smid
Johnson Peckham
Chorney

I could live with. After next year, Souray's contract becomes a nice, big fat expiring deal.

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04-11-2010, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Oilers1 View Post
I'm liking Whitney, too, but its a small sample size, and he's playing on a team with zero pressure right now. There are warning signs about this guy, from both his time in Anaheim and Pittsburgh.

There was a thread at the beginning of this season about what a stud Grebeshkov was, too. . . most talented players can look good for 15-20 games.

Even if Whitney falls apart, though, I like the trade just on the basis of the cap-space and contract term it cleared.
The sample size is indeed too small and when you couple that with the fact that this team has been playing no pressure games since before Whitneys arrival it isn't enough to base an opinion on.
However IF he is able to provide the same level of calmness and continues with his strong outlet passes when the games mean something then he is a much better fit than Lubo was. I thought Lubo was clearly the best player on this team but I questioned how effectively he was being used by the coaching staff and if his skill set was a good fit for the team.
Whitney is not as talented but he may turn out to be a better fit...the lower cap hit is an added bonus.

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04-11-2010, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
I'd actually be OK if Tamby just focuses on the forward group in the summer.


Whitney Gilbert
Souray Smid
Johnson Peckham
Chorney

I could live with. After next year, Souray's contract becomes a nice, big fat expiring deal.
That last pairing would bleed goals and the Souray/smid pairing isn't strong enough for 2nd pairing minutes IMO. This team desperately needs a shutdown dman...a Hejda type would be a perfect fit.

Lubo was a major part of why Smid's game seemed to improve and Souray does not have any of the defensive skill set that Lubo had.
I see that as a weak pairing.

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04-11-2010, 03:39 PM
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I still don't think Whitney has been all that great to be honest. He's getting points though, and he and Gilbert have been good together, so that's good. He's a good passer, when he shoots the puck, he can wire it, he's been more physical than expected, but what's impressed me most about him is the leadership he's exhibited since being here. However, he still hasn't been great on special teams despite getting lots of minutes on both PP and PK, and his hockey sense is almost nonexistant. But I still want to see how things go next year before making any judgements on the player or the pairing. I actually think Souray and Gilbert compliment each other well too (and Gilbert and Pitkanen looked good together as well), and if we trade Souray, then it's nice to know there's someone on the roster Gilbert is comfortable and has had some success with.

In general, we've seen a lot of players on this roster over the years look dynamite when coming here only to show their true colours over time. Guys like Nedved, Isbister, Kotalik, Thoresen, and Samsonov to name a few. We've also seen combinations (like the kid line in 07/08) show great chemistry together and have short term success only to come back the next year and show that it was a flash in the pan, and probably more to do with luck and bounces.

It's been almost 20 games, but I'm still not going to make any judgements based on the end of this season where the games were meaningless.

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04-11-2010, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex87 View Post
One thing to differentiate Whitney's stay in Edmonton from Pittsburgh and Anaheim is that he is now a go-to guy on the backend. With our lineup back there, and Souray's absence, Whitney has had to shoulder the load and has looked great doing it. He's played a ridiculous number of minutes and the coaching staff has great confidence in him.

It's quite possible Souray will not be back next year, and in that case, Whitney suddenly takes over our defence corps and likely has a letter on his sweater next year. We talk about the change of scenery being beneficial, but it's also important for coaching staffs to engage young players, give them something to inspire to, and make them feel like a valuable part of the team. Our coaching staff has done that, and Whitney has responded very positively. Certainly there are red flags to watch for next season, but given the circumstances surrounding the trade, I'm extremely pleased with how it's turned out.

Also give honourable mention to Johnson, who was thought to be a #7 at best. He has handled the workload quite nicely here, and I'd love to see him back as a 5-7 guy next year on a cheap contract.
I've liked Johnson too, has made the dealing of Stevie Staios oh, so palatable. We've lost very little in that deal, and gained plenty, especially if we can find a way to keep Johnson around.

The issue is that it'll be a pretty busy blueline next year. Let's assume that Souray DOES move. We're left with the following names to potentially incorportate into 7 dman spots:

Whitney
Gilbert
Chorney
Strudwick
Peckham
Johnson
Petry
Smid
Plante
Arsene

I know that not all of the above are clear contenders for one of those spots, but given that many would also expect to see Tambellini make a deal for another top-4 level player, there are plenty of suitors for few openings.

Things get even more tricky if we end up keeping Souray. Has Chorney shown enough to warrant a spot? He's been exposed to plenty due to injuries, but he's looked pretty shaky (predictably) at times. Do we keep Strudder for the sake of stability and class/leadership in the room? We've signed Petry to a deal - my assumption is that he's to be given a legit shot, at least at some point next season.

Questions, questions.

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04-11-2010, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
I'd actually be OK if Tamby just focuses on the forward group in the summer.


Whitney Gilbert
Souray Smid
Johnson Peckham
Chorney

I could live with. After next year, Souray's contract becomes a nice, big fat expiring deal.
yep 2 more season of Souray's crap and then we are out from under it

I admit--I am shocked over Whitney's play with the oiler

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04-11-2010, 03:48 PM
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One thing that surprises me is the amount of ice time that the coaching staff is giving Whitney compared to what Lubo got. Lubo was typically in the 20-22 minute range, while Whitney typically plays 25+. I never understood it from the start of the season. Was there a rift between Lubo and the coaching staff or something? To me, Lubo seemed like our best d-man, but wasn't getting huge minutes to show for it.
I'll admit that at the time of the trade, I was completely bewildered as to what management was doing. Seemed liked a partial salary dump, but a very small one at that, for a very late round pick, and a lesser player. Thus far, Whitney has been a better fit than Lubo, and that alone improves this team, but as others have pointed out, Gilbert has suddenly found his game with a new partner.

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04-11-2010, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ponokanocker View Post
One thing that surprises me is the amount of ice time that the coaching staff is giving Whitney compared to what Lubo got. Lubo was typically in the 20-22 minute range, while Whitney typically plays 25+. I never understood it from the start of the season. Was there a rift between Lubo and the coaching staff or something? To me, Lubo seemed like our best d-man, but wasn't getting huge minutes to show for it.
I'll admit that at the time of the trade, I was completely bewildered as to what management was doing. Seemed liked a partial salary dump, but a very small one at that, for a very late round pick, and a lesser player. Thus far, Whitney has been a better fit than Lubo, and that alone improves this team, but as others have pointed out, Gilbert has suddenly found his game with a new partner.
I don't know if I'd go as far as to say there was a rift between Lubo and the coaching staff. They just didn't use him on the penalty kill because they saved him mostly for offensive situations. Those extra short handed minutes add up a fair bit. Now, Lubo is actually an excellent penalty killer as we saw in the Olympics, but I can understand why they didn't have him out on the PK.

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04-11-2010, 03:55 PM
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now if can trade Souray for Lubo we'll be set..

Smid-Visnovsky
Whitney-Gilbert

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04-11-2010, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ponokanocker View Post
One thing that surprises me is the amount of ice time that the coaching staff is giving Whitney compared to what Lubo got. Lubo was typically in the 20-22 minute range, while Whitney typically plays 25+. I never understood it from the start of the season. Was there a rift between Lubo and the coaching staff or something? To me, Lubo seemed like our best d-man, but wasn't getting huge minutes to show for it.
I'll admit that at the time of the trade, I was completely bewildered as to what management was doing. Seemed liked a partial salary dump, but a very small one at that, for a very late round pick, and a lesser player. Thus far, Whitney has been a better fit than Lubo, and that alone improves this team, but as others have pointed out, Gilbert has suddenly found his game with a new partner.
Well the TOI part is kind of explainable based on the type of game the two play. Lubo liked to skate around with the puck, and relied on speed and multi-zone play to be an effective defenseman. In a one-minute shift, the guy would be all over the ice, burning energy in being an effective defenseman.
Whitney's game is similar to Pronger's, in that he takes long easy strides, he relies on an elite break-out pass instead of actually skating with the puck - and he's steady at all situations in the game (Lubo was not much of a PKer).

It's the size and style of play that dictates playing time - it's why Whitney has been a 25+ defenseman almost instantly when he entered the league.

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04-11-2010, 03:57 PM
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I don't know if I'd go as far as to say there was a rift between Lubo and the coaching staff. They just didn't use him on the penalty kill because they saved him mostly for offensive situations. Those extra short handed minutes add up a fair bit. Now, Lubo is actually an excellent penalty killer as we saw in the Olympics, but I can understand why they didn't have him out on the PK.
The problem is that it doesn't make sense. Lubo was the teams best player and the teams biggest cap hit...there is no reason for him not be be getting big minutes especially in a situation like the PK which requires mobile defenders. Lubo on the PK is a no brainer especially considering how bad this team was on the PK this season.
This misuse of Lubo was one example of this coaching staff not creating situations for the team to succeed.

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04-11-2010, 04:04 PM
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The problem is that it doesn't make sense. Lubo was the teams best player and the teams biggest cap hit...there is no reason for him not be be getting big minutes especially in a situation like the PK which requires mobile defenders. Lubo on the PK is a no brainer especially considering how bad this team was on the PK this season.
This misuse of Lubo was one example of this coaching staff not creating situations for the team to succeed.
I don't disagree with you. All I'm saying is that it wasn't a result of a rift between him and the coaches. Just questionable coaching.

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04-11-2010, 04:45 PM
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yep 2 more season of Souray's crap and then we are out from under it

I admit--I am shocked over Whitney's play with the oiler
haha what's wrong with Souray?

When healthy, he's been one of our best dmen.

I was one of the few that liked the trade. I thought they acquired a potential top pairing dman but a guaranteed top 4 guy. His first pass is a thing of beauty and I think he is a far superior player than Lubo ever was here. Hopefully his game continues into next season.

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04-11-2010, 05:11 PM
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haha what's wrong with Souray?

When healthy, he's been one of our best dmen.

I was one of the few that liked the trade. I thought they acquired a potential top pairing dman but a guaranteed top 4 guy. His first pass is a thing of beauty and I think he is a far superior player than Lubo ever was here. Hopefully his game continues into next season.
I have to agree with you on the Souray part. People have very short term memories. Last season, Souray and Roli were our two best players by far. Souray was massively concussed near the beginning of this season and was injured for the majority. When healthy, Souray is a stud. He was solid last season defensively as he was offensively. Next season, I bet he's back to last years form and if not, he'll at least have a better season next year and the Oilers can trade him at the deadline for something greater than what they'd get for him this summer.

I'm also fine with the defense the Oilers have for next season seeing how its a rebuild and all. I think they have the right mix enough to get the job done. Only time will tell.

I'd focus on dumping contracts and maybe bring in a vet centerman that can win face-offs and kill penalties.. kinda like Reasoner. Meanwhile, develop the young players that are ready.

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04-11-2010, 05:16 PM
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I don't disagree with you. All I'm saying is that it wasn't a result of a rift between him and the coaches. Just questionable coaching.
I agree that its doubtful there was a rift between Lubo and the coaching staff. The point I was contesting was this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfit View Post
They just didn't use him on the penalty kill because they saved him mostly for offensive situations. Those extra short handed minutes add up a fair bit. Now, Lubo is actually an excellent penalty killer as we saw in the Olympics, but I can understand why they didn't have him out on the PK.
This just doesn't make a lot of sense and it seems to contradict your recent point about it being questionable coaching. Unless of course you agree with questionable coaching decisions.

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04-11-2010, 05:23 PM
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misfit
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This just doesn't make a lot of sense and it seems to contradict your point about it being questionable coaching. Unless of course you agree with questionable coaching decisions.
I didn't say I agreed with it, I just said I understood why they did it.

My guess is they identified him as one of the best offensive players they had, and wanted to use him in offensive situations, and that maybe by playing him less in defensive situations (like on the PK), they'd be able to use him more in offensive ones where his skills would be better utilized.

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