Jason Strudwick is next up on our season recap. Bring a demitasse, it’s a short one.
NAME: Jason Strudwick
DOB: 17 JUL 1975 (35)
SWEATER NUMBER: 43
2010-11 NUMBERS: 0-2-2, 23 PIM in 43 GP
2010-11 SALARY/CONTRACT: $725,000, will be UFA on July 1st, 2011
Strudwick played roughly half the games in the season (43), had just over fifteen minutes of ice time (ninth overall on the team), but did manage to play a couple of games as fourth centre when a body couldn’t be found. Couple those numbers with the grim fact that the Oilers will still experience (likely significant) growing pains on defence next year along with the development of guys like Theo Peckham and Jeff Petry, and you’ll see why Strudwick remains a likely option only when injury arises.
I would be somewhat surprised to see Strudwick sign an extension this year. Guys like Theo Peckham Jeff Petry and Taylor Chorney are looking more and more the future, while Strudwick ebbs from the Oilers’ playing equation. Strudwick was an easy go-to guy in a pinch, playing mop-up and spot duty when the time called, and you can’t not have that kind of guy in the organisation.
The kids, there are too many. And they’re already here if they can stay healthy.
WHAT COULD BE
Gosh, if Strudwick is around this squad in playing capacity next year, it would again be for spot duty, if at all. He’s a great character guy on a team that’s still in painful rebuild mode, and now that guys like the trio I mentioned above have at least some NHL experience under their belts, it will be difficult to see Strudwick resign another year.
If those guys go under, Strudwick might want to leave his number. He’s a great guy to have in the dressing room if nothing else. I don’t think he’ll be resigned by the club in the offseason, but look at the team’s goaltender, and look at the money that’s evaporating in the minors. Stranger things have happened.
Next player: #46 Zack Stortini
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