July 7th, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-07-07

 

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I’m not particularly impressed with the work the Edmonton Oilers did in free-agency. Andrew Ference seems like an overpriced piece, and a bit of a redundant one too for a club that already employs Nick Schultz. That Boyd Gordon price tag is a bit of a laugher, but you know what, so was Manny Malhotra’s 3 year, 7.5 price tag when it was first signed in the summer of 2010. Had Malhotra not suffered a freak accident, he would’ve been worth every peeny of that deal. Anyway, I’m a big Jason Labarbera fan.

 

In summary the Oilers improved their depth, but they’re still extremely small down the middle – RNH, Gagner, Gordon, Smyth is, yeah, pretty underwhelming – and still well below average along the blue-line.

 

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Speaking of the Oilers blue-line, Edmonton signed Chicago Wolves defenceman Brad Hunt to an entry-level contract on Saturday. Hunt is a pretty smart puck mover with above average wheels, and while he doesn’t look like an NHL player to me, it’s cool to see an undrafted player of his ilk work hard and get a shot.

 

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So this Tweet is pretty great:

For what it’s worth, an organization that’s ignoring advanced statistics and hockey analytics is probably up a creek. That said, you definitely don’t want your players thinking about shot attempt differential on a shift-to-shift basis. In other words “Let’s not look at this like Moneyball” is exactly what you want to hear from your players, and exactly what you don’t want to hear from the executive in charge of putting together a team…

 

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Personally I really disliked what Dave Nonis did with the Leafs over the past week. The Clarkson signing is rich, particularly in term, but at least the forward the Toronto Sun is calling “Wendell Clarkson” is a supremely useful top-six forward…

 

On the other hand, buying out Grabovski to free up cap-space for Bozak is a phenomenally stupid move. Inexcusable in my book. Grabovski is so clearly, by any objective measure other than face-off percentage and including the eye-test, the superior player. Everyone except Grabovski’s stupid *expletive* coach and the numbers challenged in the Toronto media seems to know this.

 

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Or do they? It seems pretty odd that Mikael Grabovski, seemingly alone among his UFA class, remains unsigned at this point. The Belorussian two-way centreman was getting married this weekend – so the delay could be a personal thing – but I bet he scared at least a couple of teams off by breaking the “in the room” Omerta, and putting Carlyle rather publicly on blast on his way out of Toronto.

 

For what it’s worth, I loved that from Grabovski… 

 

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Another forward who was lost in the suffle in the opening twenty-four hours of free-agency? Pint-sized centreman Derek Roy, who agreed to a one year pact with the St. Louis Blues (pending a physical) on Saturday.

 

Derek Roy was completely invisible in the postseason for the Canucks, and had a down offensive year while playing a more defence oriented role in both Dallas and Vancouver. Combine Roy’s lack of size, with his lack of production, and the fact that he had some off the ice issues during his short stint in Vancouver (he was photographed on the town repeatedly down the stretch, and didn’t even meet the media on locker room clean out day) and you have the one high-end NHL centreman who failed to cash in on the open market this July…

 

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Here’s the thing about Derek Roy: the lack of pr