By The Numbers - #2 Jim Vandermeer

Today, we begin our offseason recap By The Numbers, where we’ll take a look at the 2010-11 season of each Oiler numerically from low to high.

We’ll start at the beginning with defender Jim Vandermeer.

Jim Vandermeer making bacon. Photo courtesy oilers.nhl.com

NAME: JIM VANDERMEER

SWEATER NUMBER: 2

DOB: 21 FEB 1980 (31)

NUMBERS: 2G-12A-14 PTS, 74 PIM in 62 GP,

2010-11 SALARY/CONTRACT: $ 2,300,000, will be UFA July 1st

THE SKINNY

The Oilers are Jim Vandermeer’s fourth team since the lockout of 2004-05.  Vandermeer was acquired on June 30th last season from the Phoenix Coyotes for Patrick O’Sullivan, who was promptly waived upon his arrival to Phoenix.

Vandermeer’s 2010-11 season is about what you’d expect from Jim Vandermeer.  You see what you get.  Vandermeer is a fundamentally sound (read:  good enough) guy who was paired with a ton of question marks throughout the season.  He’s not going to put the puck in the net a ton, and he’s not going to spend a ton of time across the other blueline.  The Oilers gave up a boat load of goals, and because of that, his +/- was a less than desirable -15.  A great score if you’re golfing. Vandermeer is a physical guy who will drop the mitts when needed.  A stay at home defender.

The only knock I can think of  against Vandermeer is that he makes a little bit more than you’d like to see a guy in Vandermeer’s role would make.  The trade off is that the Oilers were dying to get rid of Patrick O’Sullivan, and in turn, they had to pay Vandermeer’s deal that was a little more than the market might have demanded.

Vandermeer had two separate ankle injuries this past season, costing him 15 games total.

WHAT COULD BE NEXT YEAR

Depends on if the Oilers take Adam Larsson at the draft.

If they don’t, then Vandermeer could again find himself in Oiler colours if the price is right.  If the Oilers don’t pursue a free agent defenceman this offseason, Vandermeer would fit perfectly on the third pair. Ryan Whitney will be healthy. I’m all but certain Ladislav Smid will be back for another go-round, Tom Gilbert will be ready to go, and Jeff Petry will likely open the season on the Oiler defence.  I see Peckham, and Vandermeer would round out the top six.

Something like…

Whitney – Gilbert

Smid – Peckham

Vandermeer – Petry

This could change in a New York minute if the Oilers decide to take Adam Larsson first overall.  If the do, it could dramatically change whether or not Vandermeer gets an offer.  I’m strong on Petry, and I know Renney and the rest of the world is sold on Peckham.

CONTRACT

What is Vandermeer going to command?  I can’t possibly see him fetching another year or more of $2.3M, and I’m not so sure if he’s keen to be on a team that’s still in rebuild mode while taking a pay cut.  He’ll likely want a multi-year deal, and if both parties are interested in each other, I can’t see a contract being offered for more than a year or two.

PREDICTION

Depends on if the Oilers select Adam Larsson or not.  If the Oilers pick up Larsson in this year’s draft, Jim Vandermeer’s future as an Oiler gets very cloudy.  If they go with Nugent-Hopkins, there’s a good chance you could see Vandermeer again in October.

Next player:  #4 Taylor Hall

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