September 18 2008 04:26PM
A few items of note, courtesy of the always-informed Jim Matheson:
Josef Hrabal’s shoulder injury is apparently going to be out for a while. Matheson quotes Prendergast as saying that “there may be a tear,” and it sounds like he’s done for the remainder of camp. It’s unfortunate for Hrabal, who has a bunch of pro experience and some age on the other reserve defencemen, but it isn’t bad news for his competition, and it isn’t even particularly bad news for the Oilers. There are a ton of guys fighting for ice-time at the AHL level, and there should be plenty of guys to step up and take Hrabal’s spot in Springfield.
To my great relief, it now sounds like Andrew Perugini is going to get a contract from the Oilers. Kevin Prendergast is again quoted, this time as indicating that the backup job in Springfield is up for grabs, and that all of Glenn Fisher, Bryan Pitton, and Andrew Perugini will get a shot at it. I’d imagine that Fisher is going to get the least amount of playing time, since of the three he’s not only the oldest, but he also hasn’t shown much outside of one nice NCAA season. At 25, and after posting mediocre numbers in Stockton, I think he’s essentially out of the picture for ever getting a shot at the NHL.
Perugini and Pitton are both entering their first professional season, and after this year we should have a better idea of which is most likely to contend for NHL duty long-term. Prendergast compared Perugini to ex-Oilers goaltender Steve Passmore, who had a relatively long minor league career and a cup of coffee in the NHL.
Prendergast also confirmed that the Oilers don’t mind seeing goaltenders start in the ECHL, based on the fact that they get a lot of games in. That makes a lot of sense to me, given that development-wise it’s probably better for a brand new pro to be getting 50 games in Stockton than 20 games in Springfield.
—Jonathan Willis is the force behind Copper and Blue, and a frequent OilersNation contributor.