Theo Peckham had a season to forget for the Edmonton Oilers this past season. Dealing with concussion issues and losing some of his notorious bite to his game were reasons why. Peckham saw a drastic decrease in penalty minutes, going from 198 to 80 and saw a decrease in games played going from 71 to 54. Injury was part of the reason, the other part was being a healthy scratch for some contests. Peckham is a rough and tumble player that needs to regain his toughness in order to succeed in the NHL.
I felt Peckham was fortunate to be resigned with the Edmonton Oilers this past offseason. Getting a one year deal, to try and re-establish himself as a full time NHL defender. The Oilers have many bodies on defense with the addition of Justin Schultz. It will be up to Peckham to distinguish himself from the rest. While the Oilers D have many options to patrol the blueline, it isn’t all that deep. The opportunity for Peckham to solidify a spot is there if he willing to return to his physical ways.
Peckham has done well to put himself in the public eye this offseason, doing a variety of charity work to win back some public appeal. Peckham is that prototypical, tough but likable character. I’m sure he will have his supporters cheering him on to emerge as a legitimate NHLer.
If I Could Grant One Wish – Lobotomy: Peckham needs to forget last season and come in to this upcoming season with a fresh outlook. Hopefully he can put his concussion issues behind him and play an honest, tough game. Peckham needs to play the game with a little more street smarts and not put his head on the line in every altercation. Peckham is a solid body checker, so there are other ways he can make an impact without having to fight all the time. Peckham will have to choose his battles a little more carefully.
Prediction For 2013 – Will Lead Team In Penalty Minutes This Season: Peckham may not play every game but he will play a lot of them. And when he does play, I expect an imtimidating style. It’s a game of roulette with his concussion issues, but it’s what he needs to do in order to be an NHL player. Peckham will never be known for his offensive pedigree. He’s in a position battle with the likes of Andy Sutton, Nick Schultz and perhaps even Ladislav Smid. He is going to have to beat out of one of those players to get a spot. Its important for the team to let him off the leash every once in awhile to keep things honest on the ice, and then it will be up to Peckham to protect himself in order to fight another day. It’s sink or swim time for Theo Peckham.