The Lennart Petrell experiment is officially over with the Edmonton Oilers as the big strong and uncreative Finnish forward has signed with Geneve-Servette of the Swiss league. The last time an Oilers castaway signed in the Swiss league Linus Omark led that league in scoring. It’s safe to say this will not be the case with Petrell 29. It always struck me that the big Finn’s heavy stick was made of oak and his hands were made of wood. He was about as weak with the puck on his stick as any non-goon NHL forward in 2013. This is not to say Petrell didn’t have redeeming qualities. On the penalty kill when he had the defined role of guarding a patch of ice blocking all shots and all passes in that area and hacking the puck out of Oilers zone if it came near he was outstanding as strong a penalty killer as the team has had since the prime of Fernando Pisani. Maybe he would have been better off in hockey if he’d trained as a defensive defenceman. If there was a regular slot on NHL teams for a penalty kill ace who didn’t have to perform at even strength Petrell would be much in demand in North America. Alas for Petrell that is not the case and his lack of skill at even strength killed his NHL career. The numbers tell a grim story. He rarely helped to create scoring chances on the attack. He was part of a weak group of bottom line wingers in this regard. He chipped in one just 1.9 chances per 15 minutes of even strength play which was better than Mike Brown’s near zero attacking 1.0 per 15 and the same as unproductive Ben Eager 1.9 per 15. Just a bit better were Ryan Smyth 2.1 per 15 and Ryan Jones 2.2 per 15 who at least had the accuse of being injured. In comparison Jordan Eberle chipped in on 4.8 per 15 Taylor Hall 4.9 per 15 Magnus Paajarvi 2.7 per 15 Ales Hemsky 3.3 per 15 and Nail Yakupov 2.8 per 15.
Lennart Petrell signs in Switzerland, ending experiment with Oilers
Edmonton Journal | Aug 15