It really does sound like all Betts are off with respect to former New York Ranger centerman, Blair Betts–at least in terms of him playing for the Edmonton Oilers. To remind everyone, earlier this summer there were rallying cries from around the Oligosphere for the Oilers’ management to sign a player like Blair Betts–if not Blair Betts himself. Lacking both veteran roster depth as well as effective penalty killers, many Oilers fans feel that the addition of a player like Betts would provide balance to our roster. For a brief period of time, there were rumors that the Oilers might have been interested. Recently, it’s been announced that Betts will be getting an invite to the Flyers training camp.
Let’s take a look at Blair Betts’ last season by the numbers:
Tale of the tape: 6’3″, 210 pounds. 29 years old. Salary last year: $615,000.
Faceoffs: 884 (49.3%)
- Games 81
- Goals: 6
- Assists: 4
- Points: 10
- Plus/minus: -5
- PIM: 16
Behind the net:
- Corsi: -6.2
- GF-GA ON (5v5): 12-23= -11
- Qualcomp: -0.03
- Qualteam: -.56
- 5v5/60: 0.62
- GA ON/60: 3.51 [Pisani=4.66 / Malhotra=6.42 / Horcoff=8.45]
- 4v5 TOI/60= 2.77
- ESOR (Even strength offensive rating): -.96
- ESDR (Even stength defensive rating): +.11
- ESTR (Even strength total rating): -.85
- ESTOI= 671 minutes
What do these numbers mean? First, it’s abundantly clear that Blair Bett’s potential value is as checking center–especially on the penalty kill where his goals against on (GA ON/60) was clearly lower than even the Oilers best penalty killer last season–Fernando Pisani. Further, Betts wasn’t too bad on that dot last season at just a shade under a coin toss in terms of his stats. Given our current lack of centers who are effective on the dot–it would’ve been comforting as an Oilers’ fan to see Horcoff get some support and to see someone on the roster to replace the departed Brodziak who took the second most defensive zone draws last season.
Looking at the Qualcomp/qualteam numbers, it’s clear that Betts was put out on the ice–at even strength with pretty much dregs against 2nd/3rd line opposition. Putting this factor into context, it helps to explain both his negative plus/minus number as well as his negative Corsi number.
Assuming that we don’t see a roster change, we’re looking at one of O’Sullivan, Cogliano, Pouliot, or Brule to be slotted on the Oilers’ 3c position. Right now, assuming no roster changes, I’m betting (pun intended) on O’Sullivan aka Patty O’Lantern.