Examining Oilers Options at Centre: Internal & External

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David Steckel
Age: 31
Last NHL club: Anaheim Ducks
2012-13 stats: 21 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 points

Even though Steckel was offered a PTO by the Minnesota Wild, the Oilers could still swoop in and sign the free-agent.  It would be a “bold” move to do such a thing, although not as nasty as an offer sheet to a restricted free agent, but all is fair in love and war.  And for the Oilers, their war zone is about to begin in eight days and it’s time to call in the cavalry.  Or in this case, a centreman in Steckel.

Steckel would bring many assets to the Oilers aside from the fact that he plays centre.  He was the Ducks top faceoff man last season winning an impressive 57.1% of the draws he took, a stat that would instantly put him at the top of that category in Edmonton.

He’s not going to be your stud centreman who can put up 40 points in a season.  That’s not Steckel’s game.  But instead he’ll give you that much needed size and grit that we keep referring to that is lacking on this Oilers team.

At 6’6″ and 215 pounds, Steckel could play that third line role until one of the regulars returns, bumping Boyd Gordon to the second line or having Eberle fill the void.  Either way, having Steckel’s presence would go a long way in helping the Oilers establish a physical presence up front.

The other nice feature about Steckel is the team could sign him for cheap.  Last season he made $1.1 million while playing  with the Ducks and it’s safe to say that he’d take a one-way deal worth all of that or slightly under.  It’d be a cheap yet effective way to patch the hole that could sink this Oilers ship; the centre position.

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Tags: Anton Lander David Steckel Edmonton Oilers Featured Mark Acrobello Popular Sam Gagner Tim Connolly Will Acton

  • Cody Anderson

    I like the Steckel option best, and hate the Lander option. I see him the same as Belanger only not as good on the draw. He is a fringe player that has shown absolutely 0 offense at the NHL level. It appears as though he is penalty killing even when he plays 5 on 5.
    I would not have him on the team even with our injuries. If I was filling from within I would have Acrobello in the top 6 and Acton on the 4th line.

    • Derek Stykalo

      Thanks for the comments Cody. I’m with you on Steckel and truth be told I’ve liked him from the beginning of the free-agent period. It’s doubtful they’ll reach out and sign him unless Minnesota cuts him from his PTO.

      As for Arcobello, listening to Mac-T it sounds like he’s going to get the shot at least to start. Lander may be running out of time with this club so another AHL stint could be in his future. Thanks for reading.

      • Cody Anderson

        I think it depends on their intent. If they want a player to fill in on the bottom 6 and move Gordon up to the top 6 then Acrobello is not a good fit. If you are playing him in Gagner’s role where he is fed softer minutes and put with elite wingers I think Acrobello will score at a nice clip and may very well create trade value for himself after Nuge and Gagner are healthy.

  • BillHK

    From what Eakins has said so far and the fact that there seems to be similar trains of thought between him and MacT, I think that they will fill it internally.

    It is probably still up in the air as to which of the three gets sent down, and I would be surprised if all 3 don’t get at least 2 more exhibition games to prove that they have what it takes.

    All this said, I would prefer that they sign Steckel to a relatively affordable 1 year contract, or get a player on waiver day. They probably need another C in OKC if the depth is as weak as it appears now.

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