Dear Peter Chiarelli, you have done some great things in your time here. You have given our forward core and team in general balance, you have shored up the goaltending position, and you have almost fixed the defense. I am openly writing you this letter today because I am fully aware that you are quoted as saying that you are not interested in a stop gap option for this year. I do understand the thought process of staying the course with who we have but I honestly think you need to reconsider. There are plenty of pros to signing a stopgap before even mentioning Wisniewski’s role/influence on the team. Having an in between player for a year or two would do one huge thing for us which is develop our rookies (Nurse/Reinhart). These players are both players who struggled last year in NHL action and need a buffer year playing top minutes in the AHL.
For Nurse his numbers were not great at all. The most alarmingly of which is his corsi relative which is a ghastly -11.7. Corsi relative is a stat that measures a team’s corsi rate when a player is on and off the ice at even strength. For example, if a team generates a corsi of +2 corsi per 60 minutes with player A on the ice and that drops to -3 corsi per 60 minutes when he isn’t, his relative corsi is +5 corsi per 60. Edmonton’s corsi for this season was 48.8% meaning that with Nurse on the ice it was an abysmal 37.1%. This is a player who needs to be in the AHL, he is not ready to handle NHL minutes and players at this time. Nurse needs time in the AHL to settle his game down as Nurse tends to try to do to much with puck instead of making the simple play.
Griffin Reinhart was one of your most controversial moves (until the Hall trade) as Edmonton already had a plethora of left shot D and using two valuable picks in a deep draft to acquire him seemed like a waste. His numbers are better than Nurse’s marginally as his corsi relative this past season was -9.0 meaning that with him on the ice the Oilers had a 39.8% corsi with him on the ice. I believe that Reinhart’s better number has more to do with player type as Nurse tends to move a little farther out of position as compared to Reinhart who is more defensive and positional. This player is not ready for NHL employment, simply put if we went into this year with either Reinhart or Nurse in our lineup we will not be contending for a playoff spot. Another thing that needs to be taken into account is the fact that the left side depth chart is stocked full and the real only place for Reinhart is on the right side so why not have a top pairing of Nurse-Reinhart for a year to get him acclimated to the right side. Now for the player that Edmonton needs to add in terms of best fit, James Wisniewski is the biggest bang for our buck.
James Wisniewski is a player that for a couple of reasons remains unsigned the biggest of which being he just came off a season where he played 47 seconds of ice time before injuring his knee, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. I am using his 2015 Hero chart as 47 seconds doesn’t really show properly what he can do.
The chart clearly shows that he is a capable top 4 defenseman and can easily be counted on to play well. He has at least top 4 ability in every category except in goals for/60. That number is a little skewed since players with huge point shots tend to get more assists from tips/deflections which is evident by Wisniewski’s 44 assists in 2013-2014. Another factor is that in Anaheim he played 3rd pairing minutes and did not receive much powerplay time. The main reasons he should be signed by Edmonton beside being a stop gap for Nurse/Reinhart are as follows-
- The recovery time for an injury such as his takes six months including rehab, he was injured in October meaning he had basically from April to now to do nothing but train and prepare for this next season
- He won’t cost much towards our cap 2.5 million at most probably closer to 1.5 Million best of all he won’t cost any assets to acquire
- He has an absolute cannon of a shot, which also happens to be a right handed shot
- He puts up points averaging around 30 a year excluding 13/14 where he put up 51
- He isn’t afraid to be physical and can lay down a hit when he needs to
- aside from that freak injury last year he has been largely healthy averaging 72 games played in the previous 2 seasons
For all these reasons Mr. Chiarelli would you please hire the man? he’s the difference between a D-core which looks like this-
and I really don’t like option B, Davidson’s numbers are much better on his strong side and Nurse is just well, he isn’t ready yet. If nothing else watch this and take it into consideration (he injured Dubnyk).
An internet blogger