Monday, September 26, 2011
Still no really hard choices made by the Oilers as another dozen cuts today. No real surprises at all.
Marincin back to junior as expected. Great first half last year and then he tailed off. I did not see him play in camp but reports describe a raw talent who needs seasoning..
Going to Oklahoma City - Roy, Lowery, Plante, Tulupov, Martindale, Pitlick, Hamilton, Cornet, House, Kytnar, Vandevelde.
Of note - Tulupov and Martindale both going to OKC. With the Oilers at 48 of 50 contracts with Marincin going back to junior they have just enough room to sign both men. Rumours of Martindale being signed have been floating about for a while now. I think we have to expect that there will be more roster moves so that they are not right against the limit. Lowetide has opined that Motin's time may be done. Perhaps another borderline prospect or two will get moved as well or maybe even the mythical quantity for quality trade for a top four defenceman.
I don't even know if I would call it a mild surprise but I did think that Vandevelde might get the call as an extra forward especially if Lander was ticketed for OKC but he doesn't make the cut.
The rest of the kids getting sent down include Pitlick who probably showed best of this list and Hamilton who we all expect to get the call some day. The biggest disappointment has to be Plante who had a lot of games in camp and looked dreadful for the most part. Like Rob Schremp was he is being passed by everyone and his dog.
Injuries have worked their way into the conversation with Whitney, Eager and now Gagner all out. No word on the severity of Gagner's injury yet. Eager was concussed so who knows with that. And Whitney sounds like a longterm issue.
So here is who is left, thirty five strong:
G - Dubnyk, Khabibulin, Denis - Dubnyk has been excellent. Khabibulin was much better last start although he let in a howler as is his wont. No surprises here, we just wait to see who starts the opener, has to be Dubnyk unless he falls apart this week I would guess.
D - Whitney, Gilbert, Smid, Barker, Sutton, Peckham, Chorney, Fedun, Petry, Potter, Teubert - Whitney's injury means there are two open spots. Teubert's injury has lost him camp so he's done. Fedun has been a nice surprise but needs seasoning so one would think its between Chorney, Petry and Potter. Petry struggled but was better last game. Potter has been solid. If I were a betting man I would say Chorney and Potter with Petry getting the first call. Long run Petry will be very good and he may make the club but I think his early stumbles give the club an easy out. They don't like waiving young guys who can be claimed and while I think Chorney is nothing but a tweener I think he makes the team.
C - Horcoff, Belanger, Gagner, Lander, Ted Nugent, O'Marra, Brule - with Gagner hurt the window opens slightly for Lander. I would still prefer to see him get sent to OKC to play on the first line there but this week may tell the tale. Nugent Hopkins is going to make this team. O'Marra may make it as the fourth line centre, believe it or not. Brule has been terrible and I wonder if they might release him outright. Seems like a nice kid but he's had a tough time. Maybe they keep him as the fourth if Gagner is hurt but his time as an Oiler is short.
Wing - Eager, Eberle, Hall, Hemsky, Smyth, Hordichuk, Paajarvi, Omark, Jones, Petrell, Tyrvainen, Green, Keller, Hartikainen - here is where things are interesting, Green and Keller are getting courtesy as vets I think so scratch them, that leaves a dozen players for ten spots if they only run four centres. If Eager is out then that leaves only one cut to make. Petrell has been excellent by all accounts. Hartikainen has also made an impact although one thinks he would be best served as a top nine guy. He can play on the fourth line but if it came to that I would prefer he gets big minutes in OKC. And then there is the other Finn Tyrvainen.
All three Finns bring something that this team has lacked these past few years. It appears that two may make it unless Eager is okay to start the season. In any case I don't think its long before all three are on the roster full time.
The tough choices still remain. Should be interesting to see how Gagner and Eager's status has an impact and whether or not Tambellini makes any moves.
Posted by Black Dog at 2:00 PM