FEDUN IS READY TO COMPETE

Jason Gregor
July 31 2012 12:31PM

Since breaking his leg on September 30th, 2011 Taylor Fedun has been working tirelessly to get back on the ice. Every since that gruesome night in Minnesota the Princeton grad has been focusing on getting back on the ice and hopefully into the NHL. Countless hours with physiotherapists, athletic therapists, chiropractors and numerous other specialists has allowed him to turn that focus into a reality.

Earlier this month Fedun took part in the Oilers annual rookie development camp, the first real opportunity for him to see how far he'd come in his rehab. He felt good off the ice, but getting on the ice against players like Nail Yakupov would be a more accurate test for the 24-year-old.

I caught up with Fedun at Capilano Rehab last Thursday, and talked about the camp, his rehab and if he feels ready to compete for an NHL job.

JG: How important was that for you mentally and physically to get on the ice with some players who are going to be in the NHL next year or soon after?

TF: It was huge. Especially at this point in my rehab I’ve been in the gym for what feels like months on end. It’s important for me to get back on the ice in a relatively competitive environment and just be able to get the reps at this point in the summer.

JG: What did you notice was the biggest thing lacking for you when you got onto the ice?

TF: I think it’s still a matter of trying to get that jump back; that first couple step quickness and the multidirectional stuff. But I honestly felt significantly better as the week went on. So I think that it was an invaluable experience for me to be able to get out there.

JG: Todd Nelson told us that the first day of camp he said, ‘Fedun didn’t look at all like he did last year,’ but then by the end of the week he had noticed a significant difference. What do you think was the difference from the start to the end where you showed a significant improvement?

TF: Honestly I think a huge part of it is just getting those reps. And when you’re away from it for as long as I was, I mean I was obviously getting on the ice as much as I could, but to not be in that type of environment. And to get those valuable reps like that, it’s like anything you take time off from, when you get back to it and being not quite as sharp as you normally would. And so just going through the entire week, I think that that was huge.

JG: Did any drills give you any problems?

TF: No, I don’t think so. I really don’t think about it at all when I’m out there anymore.

JG: After the development camp, you and a few other D-men spent a week working with Steve Serdachny [Edmonton Oilers skating instructor]. What did you work on specifically in that week?

TF: It was defenseman specific sort of things. We worked on a lot of edge work and backwards skating, transition stuff where you kind of make a pass up the ice off of your back foot while you’re transitioning, a lot of dragging and shooting across the blueline trying to keep your head up. Just a lot of things specific to defensemen. And again, by the end of that week I felt even better than I did after the development week. So I think that the reps are huge.

JG: Would these types of drills be something that you would do every summer on your own anyway?

TF: Yeah, probably. Especially now that I’ve got a taste for them and seeing them from Steve. They’re definitely something that when I get an opportunity to be out on the ice that I’m going to do myself or with a few other guys, they’re something that we definitely can always work on. Regardless of whether you’re one of the best guys in the world at it or not, you can always work on it.

JG: So a lot of the fundamental drills essentially. Is this something, had you done this every summer in the past, or was this like going back in time for you?

TF: I don’t think that I had quite done that in a little while. I did work with Steve last summer quite a bit, but the specific defenseman stuff, not so much so it was really good to be able to get that.

REHAB

JG: Are you still rehabbing?

TF: I don’t think that you would call it rehabbing anymore. I’m pretty much at the point where it’s just, I’m back in the summer groove and just working out. Kind of like I would be had nothing happened. I still have to do certain things, like I have to keep on stretches to make sure that it doesn’t tighten up. And there are a few things that I have to do specifically for my right hip, but for the most part it’s more just working out.

JG: When you first broke your leg, I think it was only two weeks afterwards that they had you starting the very basics of rehab. What was the very first thing you were working on ?

TF: I pretty much had everything you could think of. Honestly looking back I don’t think that there’s a technique that at one point or another that I hadn’t had. And actually it was less than a couple of weeks after.

I was still in the hospital and there were two physiotherapists who visited me and we would spend twice a day for half an hour down in the physio. And it literally just started with I would lie on the bed and we would watch my leg and I would try to fire the muscles around my knee and in my hip. And just things like my foot on the ground and trying to drag my heel to my butt, things like that that are so basic, but at a time like that that are huge to just try to get the muscles moving and to eliminate the atrophy as much as you can.

JG: So millimetres or centimetres of movement would be considered a successful day?

TF: Oh absolutely. I had a, I think it was called a continuous passive motion machine, or something like that, and my leg would go inside of that and the machine kind of bent it for me throughout the day. And so every time I went back to the rehab I would be going an extra couple of degrees that I had the day before. So it’s right out of the gate making sure that everything is taken care of.

JG: What was the most painful part of your rehab?

TF: Definitely the first week or two, that was definitely the biggest hump to get through. When you’re in a position where you are really just lying there and you’re uncomfortable. That was definitely the most difficult. Chris Davie (Oilers assistant athletic therapist) helped me a lot. Every week when the doctor told me that I could bare more weight on my leg, Chris would get out a scale and he would perform the exercise in front of me and tell me ‘look this is how much weight you are actually putting on your leg.’

So that would allow me to do it without being worried that I’d pass the threshold. Because honestly even though I was allowed by the doctor to put the weight on, it didn’t feel good to do it. And so to have that in your mind that, ‘yeah it hurts,’ but Chris helped me push that because this new movement was actually in my capable range right now.

JG: I’m sure the power of the mind plays a huge role in rehabilitation where you say to yourself,  I can do this safely, and I can actually do this even though my body may not want to do it?

TF: Absolutely and that’s one of the biggest parts of having someone who knows what they are doing that can kind of coach you along the way. They can say ‘yeah this is uncomfortable or yeah it might hurt a little bit, but it’s good for you. And at the end of the day you are going to be better because you are doing this right now.’

JG: Do you think that you’re mentally stronger now because of this rehab?

TF: I think indirectly there definitely is. The power of positive thinking is unbelievable. When you’re faced with something as dramatic as a broken femur, when you look back at it and realise how important it was to stay positive I think that that will definitely help with any other bumps and bruises along the way.

MAKING A RETURN

JG: You’re done rehab and you mentioned that you’re just in a regular rotation for the rest of the summer. Do you know when the OKC camp would start if there’s no main camp in the NHL?

TF: I’m not positive. I know last year it began at the 27th or 28th of September. So I would assume that it would be within a couple of days of that one way or the other.

JG: How much are you looking forward to that first game, whether it’s pre-season in the NHL or whether it’s regular season in the AHL, whatever it is. Have you thought about that?

TF: Yeah I’ve pretty much thought about that ever since I broke my leg, that’s basically what I’ve been working towards this entire time, so it’s huge. And when I finally do get to step onto the ice I think that I’ll be really excited but it will also be a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders knowing that I’m working to get there. But once I do get there it’s far from over.

JG: You were an unknown to most Oiler fans last year when you came to camp. You had a strong camp and a strong preseason before the injury. Many were left wondering how good you could have been. How do you feel as that player in that situation thinking ‘I was so close, but now I’ve got to reprove myself and start over’?

TF: It was important that I at least had that opportunity though. Now at least I have an idea of what it takes to be there. And yeah I do kind of need to start over and do it all over again, but at least I know that I’m capable of doing that. So I’m very excited to finish off the story I guess.

JG: Did you miss hockey more than you had thought and did it almost reinvigorate you and prove how much you love the game?

TF: Very much so. From the beginning I wasn’t too caught up in it because I knew that there were so many things that I had to take care of before I was even close enough to be thinking  about the games that I was missing. But now that I’m at the point where I’m on the ice, I don’t think that I’ve ever been so excited for my summer holiday to be over. I just want to get back after it because it’s been so long. I feel like I’m a lot hungrier than I’ve ever been.

JG: Are you doing a lot of one legged exercises, is that something that you do a lot of when you break your femur?

TF: I was definitely doing a lot more of that before. And then when I got to the point where my legs were a lot closer in terms of how strong they were, relative to each other then I got away from it a little bit. There’s still definitely a single leg component to our workout but it’s not nearly as concentrated as it used to be.

JG: What’s your on ice to off ice ratio right now?

TF: Right now, on the ice three times a week and then we’re in the gym five times a week and then I do an extra run on the weekend.

WRAP UP

Chatting with Fedun it was clear by the tone of his voice and the expression on his face that he's excited about training camp. You can tell he has a lot to prove and his attitude is likely going to be his best asset moving forward. Realistically he's likely to start the season in OKC, due to rust and he's only played a handful of games at the pro level.

He's made an amazing recovery already, but he was adamant that his journey is far from over. His goal is still to play in the NHL and I doubt anyone will question his determination or desire to fulfill it.

His story is one that I will be following closely this season, and one that every Oiler fan is hoping ends with him realizing his dream. 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 laughing pug
July 31 2012, 12:34PM
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That wasn't the FIST time I'd heard him in an interview - he sounds pretty down to earth with realistic expectations.

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#2 David S
July 31 2012, 12:50PM
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I can't tell you all how much I'm pulling for this guy. BOO-YEAH!

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#3 DK0
July 31 2012, 01:32PM
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They better give him at least 1 pre-season game where he starts the game on the ice so we can give him a standing-O when they announce the lineup

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#4 Quicksilver ballet
July 31 2012, 01:18PM
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Feel a little bad for the many who didn't see any of the glory days. Since the early 90's it's just been a whole lotta nothin special. Hope sold a constant and backed by 2 decades of a patient fanbase.

3 yrs into a full blow rebuild and there's still only 5 keepers on the roster to date. There's plenty of hope you're more than just another marginal player on this roster Taylor.

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#5 David S
July 31 2012, 08:03PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Lol. never have enough of those "Shut Down" d'men. Not overly gifted offensively, not overly physical, average footspeed. Is that what we're calling these guys if they're missing a tool or two from the toolbox?

Yes we need guys like Smid and Shultz, but they're not nearly as important as your #1 and #2 type guys. The flavour of the month 4,5 and 6 guys you can pick up easily during the summers. Don't invest alot in them.

Yeah, we've done a splendid job of amassing 4,5,6 guys during the summers.

Like it or not, Smid is probably on our top pairing. He's been on a pretty steady upwards trend as a shut-down, hard-nosed D. Sure we could use a puck-moving shooter, but given our recent history what are the odds it's going to happen?

In general, this whole evaluating the worth of D based on "Superstar status" is the height of fanboyism. I'd be fine with two lines of (equivalently) 2nd pairing D-men, which would be a helluva lot better than we've had over the past few years.

Balance. It counts for more than you think.

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#6 OilLeak
August 01 2012, 02:21AM
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Dipstick wrote:

Isn't Musil likely to go back to Junior this season?

He will be, he's not eligible to play in the AHL yet, not sure what people are thinking.

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#7 Cody anderson
July 31 2012, 01:22PM
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He still has a hard road ahead of him. I hope he can make it, but this could very well be his missed shot.

He was not even on anyone's radar meaning an NHL career was likely a dream more then a probability. He had the training camp of his career on the worst defensive team in the NHL. Last year was obviously his best chance of making an NHL team. Our Defence looks better this year and our blue chip Dmen are each another year closer to realizing their dream of playing in the NHL.

Missing a year of development hurts a lot, but likely not as much as watching the D corps improve and your window closing while you recover.

I hope they give him a long look, and even if he looks out of place give him some preseason games to regain as much of his form as he can.

The good news for him is the way the Oilers d has been decimated by injuries recently he is likely to see call up duty even if he is not the first or second callup.

Here's hoping he gets a chance and is able to make the most of it!

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#8 Cody anderson
July 31 2012, 01:31PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Wow are you negative. I think we have more then 5 players that will make all star teams in their careers let alone be keepers.

A team is made up of a lot more then it's superstars. I would be interested to see which players on the roster you feel would not make other NHL teams.

Players that I list as not just keepers but potential all stars would include;

Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yak, Petry, Smid, N Schultz, J Schultz, and Whitney.

There are also a number of players on the current roster that are well above average in the league (Hemsky, Gagner) some role players, and then prospects.

Obviously, there are still some holes and areas of weakness, but this rebuild is well on it's way and looks much more promising then I would have ever guessed 2 or 3 years ago.

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#9 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 31 2012, 01:33PM
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@ Cody Anderson

N Shultz is a potential allstar? He's a #5 on a good team.

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#10 Spydyr
July 31 2012, 02:15PM
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Make it all the way back to the show!!!

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#11 Quicksilver ballet
July 31 2012, 02:27PM
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@ Cody anderson

Negative, realist, it's a fine line Cody.

Hall,Eberle,Hopkins,Yakupov and J. Schultz are the only ones we know will hopefully still be part of this team in two yrs. If Whitneys game doesn't come back, he'll be gone. Smid is UFA eligible next summer and there's no way he's worth north of 4+ million per for a 5-6 d'man on a soon to be playoff team. So, rub that chalk brush over those guys on your chalkboard.

Petry and Nick Shultz have a shot at staying here long term but if there's a need to address an area of weakness, those guys are up for grabs. Outside of Paajarvi,Klefbom,Lander,Hartikainen and maybe Marincin, there's little coming that'll push the others for icetime at the NHL level.

3 first overalls in a row reveal alot of deficiencies Cody......have another pitcher of that koolaid left?

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#12 SSAC
July 31 2012, 02:32PM
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I have known Taylor since he was 13 years old. I have known the family for that long. For what he and his family have gone through over the years, I would put my money on Taylor, that he will be back... He has the drive and commit to get there....It is build in....

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#13 Cody anderson
July 31 2012, 02:57PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

N Schultz is a very good shut down dman. A good team usually has one offensive and one defensive Dman on every pairing.

Neither him or Smid are likely to light it up offensively, but as the defensive part of the pairing I see either one as a solid second pairing option on most NHL teams currently.

Smid is young and still improving. He could still develop into a solid 1st pairing defensive defenseman.

Even if you don't consider them potential all stars I can't see how you could not consider them as keepers.

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#14 Dman09
July 31 2012, 02:58PM
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DK0 wrote:

They better give him at least 1 pre-season game where he starts the game on the ice so we can give him a standing-O when they announce the lineup

Agreed first preseason game in Edmonton he needs to be on the ice. I have no doubt this kid is going to put it all on the line and show the rest of Oilers roster what it takes to be a winner.

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#15 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 31 2012, 03:04PM
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@ Cody

Nick turns 30 in a few weeks, he aint improving anymore.

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#16 Cody anderson
July 31 2012, 03:09PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

So you are defining keepers as people you think we will be able to afford?

I can guarantee you that Smid, Petry, and N Schultz are good enough to be keepers and are currently in the long term plans of the team. Obviously every player in the world can be had for the right price and it is possible that any of our current players will be traded at some point in their career for other assets.

You must be in on the negotiation with Smid's agent and the management team. How do you know what he will be asking when his contract is up?

I happen to know for a fact that Smid loves Edmonton, is very thankful for the opportunity here, and hopes to be part of the team long term. That has the potential for hometown discount all over it, but obviously none of us know what he will demand money wise or what the Oilers are willing to pay him.

There are very few teams in the NHL that are deep enough on defence that Smid would be a 3rd pairing defenseman.

I will agree with you that we are thin on forward prospects not currently pushing for a spot. I will even concede that goaltending could be an issue. I think Dubnyk will have a good season, but he is a young goalie with limited NHL exprience and our backup option is brutal.

I think the Oilers will be much better this year then you give them credit for.

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#17 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
July 31 2012, 03:11PM
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@ Cody

Schultz was near the bottom of min per game amoungst Dmen with the Wild, a below average team.

He's also far behind Hemsky and a little behind Gagner, Horcoff and Smyth in the "effective NHL'er" catagory.

Never said he wasn't a keeper, I think we've got 12-15 guys were going to want to keep around for another couple years anyways.... he's just no where close to being an allstar.

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#18 Cody anderson
July 31 2012, 03:14PM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

Oops, you are correct. I was thinking N Schultz was the same age as Smid, when in fact he was the same age as Gilbert.

He has probably reached or is very close to reaching his full potential so all star was a reach. That being said, would you not hope that he is part of the team in 2 years? He is someone that has 5+ years of good hockey in front of him and he is a valuable shutdown Dman.

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#19 Cody anderson
July 31 2012, 03:24PM
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Obviously, as a fan I hope for the best, and may even slightly over value some of our players. That is no different then 90% of fans. Hell, most GMs even overvalue their players and prospects.

I am not one of those people that figures we will win the cup this year, but I do think that if a few things go our way this year (mostly healthy) we have a legit shot at the 8th spot.

I would be very disapointed if we were eliminated by Christmas again.

I do think that anyone that thinks this team only has 5 keepers is not just crazy, but is not a fan.

It is one thing to not like the mangement team or to disagree with some of their strategies or moves. It is another to become so disgruntled that you cannot enjoy the group of young prospects that are developing in front of us.

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#20 Quicksilver ballet
July 31 2012, 03:31PM
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Lol. never have enough of those "Shut Down" d'men. Not overly gifted offensively, not overly physical, average footspeed. Is that what we're calling these guys if they're missing a tool or two from the toolbox?

Yes we need guys like Smid and Shultz, but they're not nearly as important as your #1 and #2 type guys. The flavour of the month 4,5 and 6 guys you can pick up easily during the summers. Don't invest alot in them.

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#21 Cody anderson
July 31 2012, 04:05PM
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I would love to see a list of all the guys you see as legit #1 or #2 Dmen.

There should be at least 60 of them in the NHL. If you are only looking at superstars (top 20 dmen in the league) Then good luck in getting a 1/2 dman. The cost in trade is crazy to get those guys and then their salaries are over the top as well.

Our best bet is to draft and develop them ourselves. Our biggest strength currently aside from young finesse players already on the roster is in our defense prospects. If you look at hockeyfuture they list and grade each team's prospects at each position. There are currently only 9 defensive prosepcts they have given a grade of 8 and 3 of them are oilers prospects. No other team has more then one. They also only list one defensemen higher then 8 and that is Doug Hamilton of Boston at 8.5

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#22 Pouzar99
July 31 2012, 04:08PM
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I will make it my business to be at Rexall the next time Fedun steps on the ice for a game of any kind. Don't know what future this kid has as a player but he has already proved to be an absolute major leaguer as a human being. If you aren't rooting for him you got a hole in your soul.

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#23 ubermiguel
July 31 2012, 04:25PM
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@Quicksilver ballet;

Thinking back to the Glory Years, a lot of our 4, 5, 6 guys were guys that we had on the roster for years & years (e.g.: Muni, Gregg, Beukeboom, Huddy).

We have to hang on to those types of guys, I don't think they're in great supply in the summer or any time of the year.

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#24 WeridAl
July 31 2012, 05:17PM
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N.Schultz had a bad year with Mini, but he's a solid 2nd pairing D. He's certainly better then Barker and the others before him. He's a good veteran to have around the rookies. Would love to see Fedun make the team, but realistically he'll most likely end up with OKC. IMO the Oilers need that big gritty D more then another PMD.

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#25 Ben
July 31 2012, 05:42PM
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Nick Shultz can play on my team anytime. I am a fan of both the Penguins and the Oilers and as more of a Pens fan I would take Shultz above everybody not named Letang on the Pens blueline. He has Jason Smith like qualities with a little less of the nasty factor, which is fine by me. Shultz is just a solid blueliner with decent wheels.

I hope the best for Fedun.I was rooting for him last pre-season and since a horrible and senseless injury I have increased my support for him. I honestly hope he makes the team ahead of guys like Potter and Peckham.

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#26 Bushed
July 31 2012, 05:43PM
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Fedun is a class act. His rehab experience, education, attitude, and maturity could all be big pluses in the dressing room--maybe an updated version of Dr Gregg?

Anyway, I'm cheering like crazy for this guy. He deserves all the success in the world!

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#27 michael
July 31 2012, 05:45PM
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Fedun is my #5 dman in OKC. Until he proves he has his mojo back I bring him along slowly.Reward him with more minutes when he is more comfortable on the ice. I think he slots in with Musil.

The Oilers have an abundance of need on thier top pairing. Until Whitney proves he is healthy I am skeptical that the team will be better than an 85 point team this season. With him healthy we might chase a playoff position. J.S should be a 35 point guy this season. I see the Oilers trading N.S sometime this season. We have similar players and once teams start losing d to injury the Oilers can leverage N.S for an asset that could help them in other areas.

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#28 Quicksilver ballet
July 31 2012, 06:26PM
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@ubermigel

Great examples.....Muni,Gregg and Huddy all good Oiler blueliners, all signed as free agents, Edmonton gave up nothing to bring these guys in and insert them into the lineup. Beukeboom was an Oiler draft pick in 83 i believe. Inexpensive options are out there at half the price that current 4-6 guys like Smid will demand. Edmonton will have to look at cutting cost on these positions if the hope to keep more important players.

Would Krueger even venture to put Smid or N.Schultz on the second unit PP?

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#29 PutzStew
July 31 2012, 06:58PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

@ Cody anderson

Negative, realist, it's a fine line Cody.

Hall,Eberle,Hopkins,Yakupov and J. Schultz are the only ones we know will hopefully still be part of this team in two yrs. If Whitneys game doesn't come back, he'll be gone. Smid is UFA eligible next summer and there's no way he's worth north of 4+ million per for a 5-6 d'man on a soon to be playoff team. So, rub that chalk brush over those guys on your chalkboard.

Petry and Nick Shultz have a shot at staying here long term but if there's a need to address an area of weakness, those guys are up for grabs. Outside of Paajarvi,Klefbom,Lander,Hartikainen and maybe Marincin, there's little coming that'll push the others for icetime at the NHL level.

3 first overalls in a row reveal alot of deficiencies Cody......have another pitcher of that koolaid left?

If you're gonna be a realist, Yak and young Shultz haven't play a single professional game yet, so to include them in your list of 5, at this time, would actually be unrealilistic.

I do agree though. And I would include Smid. Good shut down guys are always going to be in demand.

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#30 ubermiguel
July 31 2012, 07:00PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

@ubermigel

Great examples.....Muni,Gregg and Huddy all good Oiler blueliners, all signed as free agents, Edmonton gave up nothing to bring these guys in and insert them into the lineup. Beukeboom was an Oiler draft pick in 83 i believe. Inexpensive options are out there at half the price that current 4-6 guys like Smid will demand. Edmonton will have to look at cutting cost on these positions if the hope to keep more important players.

Would Krueger even venture to put Smid or N.Schultz on the second unit PP?

My point wasn't about how we acquired them, but that once they got in the system we hung onto them. We didn't go shopping every summer for some plug and play blue-liners.

In fact we traded away our only HHOF defenceman and didn't suffer too badly...probably because we had solid 2-7 guys.

Looking at those post-Coffey rosters I'm amazed how unspectacular the D was. Smith and Lowe on the point on the first PP unit?

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#33 Dipstick
July 31 2012, 11:18PM
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Isn't Musil likely to go back to Junior this season?

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#34 Wäx Män Riley
July 31 2012, 11:53PM
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So far it looks like Eberle is better than Crosby.

So says TSN.

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#35 Cowbell_Feva
August 01 2012, 09:37AM
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I am shocked. I cannot believe that people, Gregor included, think Laddy Smid is worth $4 mill/yr. or more?!? I keep hearing shutdown Dman, yet never do I find myself thinking- wow- Smid sure kept that team at bay. Usually he is fishing the puck out of the net, or chasing guys around his end during a fire drill with his hair on fire.

He was +4 last year, Sutton was +5...does this mean Sutton should've got $4 mill as well. At least Sutton can land a big body check, rather than just run into people sometimes with little to no effect. The year before he was -10, Whitney was +13, does this mean Whitney is a shutdown defenseman too??

To say Smid is a shutdown Dman is like saying Horcoff is an elite centerman. Giving way too much credit. Smid has had his head banged around, and as it goes with head injuries, it seems like he gets a small bump near his head and he has his bell rung. If Tambellini pays him anywhere near $4 million I will be calling for Brian Burke to come take over, and I cannot stand that idiot.

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#36 Cowbell_Feva
August 01 2012, 09:41AM
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I am shocked. I cannot believe that people, Gregor included, think Laddy Smid is worth $4 mill/yr. or more?!? I keep hearing shutdown Dman, yet never do I find myself thinking- wow- Smid sure kept that team at bay. Usually he is fishing the puck out of the net, or chasing guys around his end during a fire drill with his hair on fire.

He was +4 last year, Sutton was +5...does this mean Sutton should've got $4 mill as well. At least Sutton can land a big body check, rather than just run into people sometimes with little to no effect. The year before he was -10, Whitney was +13, does this mean Whitney is a shutdown defenseman too??

To say Smid is a shutdown Dman is like saying Horcoff is an elite centerman. Giving way too much credit. Smid has had his head banged around, and as it goes with head injuries, it seems like he gets a small bump near his head and he has his bell rung. If Tambellini pays him anywhere near $4 million I will be calling for Brian Burke to come take over, and I cannot stand that idiot.

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#37 Quicksilver ballet
August 01 2012, 10:17AM
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@ Jason Gregor [quote:Go look at LA...You need veterans who are physical, kill penalties and play tough.

Go look at salaries of solid top-four defensive D-men, they make $4 million. Smid will not be an overpayment at 4 mill.

It would be stupid to lose one of the few guys who competes hard every night. Smid is one of the few Oilers who knows his role and plays it well.

He is a guy they will lock up.

Comparing #4-#6 on those great Oiler teams is ridiculous. Pay was way different, not to mention they had the greatest offense the league has ever seen.]

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Comparing roster spots only, dollars don't matter, it's all relative. Edmonton doesn't have a Drew Doughty playing 26 mins a night.

Say the Oilers do make a deal for a #1 or 2 blueliner in the next 14 months. That makes the Oilers blueline look like #1 aquisition paired with perhaps Whitney, second pairing would look to be Nick and Justin Schultz, third pairing would be Smid and Klefbom. 4 million+ on a multi yr deal for a bottom pairing guy is redonkulous. How much impact can those 3rd pairing 15'ish minutes a night have really. Your 1,2 and 3 guys i'm sure are better when the game is more physical, killing penalties and playing it rough when needed, moreso than the 4-6 guys i'm sure. 4.5 multi yrs 'ish on a long term deal for a bottom pairing guy.....i dunno Jason, doesen't leave much opportunity for Marincin,Hamilton or Musil on this roster. If given the opportunity i'm sure Theo Peckham can lean on people, score as many goals and kill penalties as well as Ladislav for half that money he'll be due.

Smid a top 3 blueliner? Only in Edmonton could this be the case. No wonder we're perennial basement dwellers with thinking like this. Not often you're wrong Jason but i guess there's a first time for everything.

The things we need to do to help pass the summer....

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#38 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 01 2012, 10:27AM
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Smid is arguably the best defensmen on our current roster, the team has a long way to go before he has to worry about being pushed to the 3rd pairing.

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#39 Cody anderson
August 01 2012, 11:03AM
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@Quicksilver Ballet

Name 3 teams that Smid would be on the 3rd pairing and the 4 guys that would be ahead of him on the depth chart.

I think he is a very solid 2nd pairing option on any team in the league and we are not the only team that he would be on the first pairing.

If Smid is on our 3rd pairing it would indicate tremendous depth and our D would be one of our greatest strengths. This may end up being the case one day if all of our D end up realizing their full potential and Whitney regains full form. (This would be drinking the kool-aid)

You comparing Peckam favorably to Smid reveals your lack of hockey intelligence. Based on Peckam's last year performance it is doubtful he is an NHL calibre player. If he can regain the form he showed in 10/11 and continue to develop he will be a solid 3rd pairing Dman, but otherwise is only a call-up option.

I would talk to Smid about the importance of reasonable contracts in order to ice the best team possible and keep the team together. Assuming he plays as well or better then he did last year he is worth 4 million. I would ask him to look at Petry's contract who is his partner and I would offer him 3 million a yr on a long term deal and hope I could get him under 4 million.

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
August 01 2012, 11:15AM
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You're right OB1

If he's only going to excel in that one single role why can't he try and add something to his game. Get suspended twice a yr. Bust someones jaw or take out a knee or two out. Atleast be known for being a hard nosed mean shut down d'man. Then, i'd retain him beyond this yr. Right now to me he's a dime a dozen soft supposed shut down d'man, easily replaced by one of the kids coming up.

An Andy Sutton meanstreak would help Ladislavs cause. Why can't Smid do both. The getting one punched to the ice by Sean Avery thing he has going on just isn't cutting it.

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#41 David S
August 01 2012, 11:28AM
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Anybody putting Whitney on the first pairing gets his Koolaid bulk-stylez (as the hip-hop kids say these days) at Costco.

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#42 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 01 2012, 11:39AM
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@ QSB

Well he did pull a draw at worst with Iggy, so I think he's a pretty tough guy.

That said though, what you mentioned is basically worthless in terms of a hockey player. If he can effectively play against top players in the NHL and limit thier shots/scoring chances/goals then he's a worthwhile player IMO.

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#43 Cody anderson
August 01 2012, 11:40AM
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@David S

Agreed, unless someone has inside knowledge on his recovery. Healthy, he was not fleet of foot, but was a very solid option.

If he is playing at 50-75% he is a 3rd pairing option at best.

Would kill to see him back at 100% for the next 3-5 years as he could really add to the team without costing us any assets and we could probably resign him at a reasonable price if health does not look like a factor.

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#44 Quicksilver ballet
August 01 2012, 11:48AM
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Even the hobbled Whitney is better than Smid. Not alot of difference right now in the Oilers 1-4 guys.

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#45 2004Z06
August 01 2012, 12:01PM
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Quicksilver...I am not sure what games you are watching, but they celarly are not Oiler games. Smid is a phenomenal character and team first guy that brings it every night. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and last year was the most physical/agitating season for him yet. The guy had a broken neck and he still isn't scared to do the gritty stuff. The fact that he challenged Avery says enough about Smid. Saying he is soft because Avery wouldn't accept the challenge and then sucker punched Smid as he was turning to skate away is ridiculous. As Oiler fans, we have endured enough ridicule and negativity over the last 5-6 years. Yet every day I read these posts and here you are spewing your negative crap every day! Are you a Calgary fan? If half the team had Smids compete level, we WOULD be a playoff team!

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#46 Cowbell_Feva
August 01 2012, 12:01PM
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I don't get it. Unless I missed something Laddy Smid was supposed to be the key to the Pronger trade after the cup run in '06. Since that point he has accumulated concussions. Since day 1 he has been trying to live up to his 'potential' and here we are today still waiting for it. If he is worth $4 million, then every 5,6,7,8 Defenseman in the NHL would be making $4 million. What does he bring to the table that any other 5,6,7,8 NHL defenseman doesn't?? Killer body checks? Nope. Offense? Obviously not. Lockdown smothering defense? Nope. Great outlet passes? Nope. $4 f*ckin million for a guy who tries hard?? Really?? I thought the Horcoff deal was bad.

That and he still holds his hands up in the air after EVERY penalty he takes like he's still in PeeWees.

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#47 2004Z06
August 01 2012, 12:01PM
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Quicksilver...I am not sure what games you are watching, but they clearly are not Oiler games. Smid is a phenomenal character and team first guy that brings it every night. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty and last year was the most physical/agitating season for him yet. The guy had a broken neck and he still isn't scared to do the gritty stuff. The fact that he challenged Avery says enough about Smid. Saying he is soft because Avery wouldn't accept the challenge and then sucker punched Smid as he was turning to skate away is ridiculous. As Oiler fans, we have endured enough ridicule and negativity over the last 5-6 years. Yet every day I read these posts and here you are spewing your negative crap! Are you a Calgary fan? If half the team had Smid's compete level, we WOULD be a playoff team!

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#48 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
August 01 2012, 12:07PM
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@ Cowbell_Feva

I think it's safe to assume you've missed something.

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#49 Cody anderson
August 01 2012, 12:08PM
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Quicksilver Balet is a troll.

@Cowbell_Feva

If you think smid is a #5,6,7,8 dman please read and reply to comment 39

"Name 3 teams that Smid would be on the 3rd pairing and the 4 guys that would be ahead of him on the depth chart."

That should be easy as there are always going to be team that are well above average in one position while having weankesses in other areas.

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#50 Quicksilver ballet
August 01 2012, 12:12PM
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@2004Z06

You have bested me this day in the art of internet warfare, cut me off at the knees in regards to this topic, but as far as i'm concerned, it's just a flesh wound.

Now that i may be a little mobility challenged, come walk a little closer to my sword...sir.

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