Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Power Forward Target: Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart is a player the Oilers might target to address their needs of size and adding power forwards to line up. You may ask this question. Do we want a player who has been a healthy scratch in 2 games in the playoffs? It is a fair question. But, Stewart is a young player still finding his way in the NHL. The Blues might consider moving him for cap reasons or to improve at a position. The Oilers should do their due diligence in trying to acquire this player.

Stewart is a 6-3 and 232 pound right winger. He could find himself on the 2nd line or 3rd scoring line and would excel at trying to create space and using his bigger body to go to the net. He is coming off a so-so year under a new system in St. Louis with Hitchcock taking over as coach early in the season. This player may not fit into the system of the Blues. Stewart finished 2011/12 with 15 goals and 30 points in the regular season (and 109 PIM's) after 28 goals and 53 points in a split season (62 games) with the Avs and Blues last season. His second NHL season saw him score 28 goals and 64 points. This player has the talent to score and fill a power forward void in Edmonton.

He has had season of 112 hits (2011/12), 56 (62 games in 2010/11), 100 hits in (2009/10), and 80 hits (53 games in 2008/09). In those seasons he also added 109, 53, 73, and 54 hits. His shooting percentage over the last 4 seasons was never lower than 9.0% (2011/12) with his career average being 12.7%.

Stewart still needs to be more consistent and improve his defensive zone player, as any young player does.  A career -19, 18 of which came in 2008/09.  He is at the end of his 2nd contract (2.875 Cap hit, 3.25 in 2011/12 salary) and could be had on an affordable contract of less than 4 million per season. Do the Oilers have the assets to get the deal done?

By the way, he likes to fight:

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A forum poster since 2000, Jay is the Moderator of the Edmonton Oilers forum the Motley Crude. A proud member of the Oilers Army. He also contributes to his blog Oilers Republic and to theOilogosphere. You can follow him on twitter (http://twitter.com/OR_TMC). Also, an Oilers blogger at Sportsnet Fan Fuel.

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