Ethan Moreau was named captain of the Oilers this morning. He's from the Gator school of captaincy; I think Moreau is a good choice and should inspire the kids on the team. Few work harder then Chopper and few are tougher. I'd love to find a clip of that Gratton fight. If inspiration fails with the youngsters perhaps he will threaten them and make them cry.
In other news it looks like the opening roster has been set. With Roy on the IR, the Oilers decided to go with seven Dmen and Laddy Smid was sent out. Gilbert sticks, as he should have, and how does that Tommy Salo deal look now?
Although a bag of pucks and a sandwich would have been a good return for Salo at that point.
Of course sending Smid out just emphasizes what a complete joke last fall was when they played him with Staios on the second pairing rather then paying a little bit of money for a veteran Dman and letting Laddy get his feet wet on the third pair or playing big minutes in the AHL. The kid is likely going to be a good Dman but the handling of his situation has been a farce since day one.
And to everyone's relief Stortini was sent out as well. I like Stortini who was captain of my hometown junior club but he has already played more games in the NHL then I ever figured he would. And so after all of that it looks like both Pouliot and Jacques stick.
And Thoresen was put on waivers - hopefully he sneaks through. My guess is he comes back up if / when Gagner gets sent down.
So the Oilers have a decided Duck like look to them (circa '05/'06) - two lines to handle tougher minutes, although with what success we will have to see - Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky and Moreau-Reasoner-Brodziak -one to take the soft minutes - Torres-Stoll-Nilsson - and one line of kids to take the butter soft minutes and get some time on special teams.
I'm excited about this team but I'm known to be soft in the head.
Oh well, every year some team surprises. Why the hell not the Oilers?
Will come back down to earth in, um, let's say a week.