GDB minus-2: It's crunch time

Jason Gregor
September 24 2009 02:20PM

capn-quinn

Tonight is the last chance for players to impress the coaches, and when you look at tonight’s roster it is pretty clear which players are on the bubble.

Nilsson — Brule — Stone MacIntyre — Reddox — Stortini Moreau — Gagner — Cogliano Penner — Schremp — Eberle

Grebeshkov — Staios Chorney — Gilbert Smid — Visnovsky

Deslauriers and Dubnyk

Stone, Brule, Nilsson, Reddox, MacIntyre, Schremp and Eberle are all on the bubble. And so is Pouliot, but he is out with a slight muscle pull.

Quinn hinted today that if Pouliot and Pisani don’t get into Sunday’s game, they might get veteran status and be on the 23 man roster. Pisani is shooting to play on Sunday so we’ll wait and see.

It sounds like Quinn is leaning towards moving Cogliano to the wing and will keep Gagner and either Comrie or O'Sullivan and Horcoff as the other top three centres.

It is also interesting to look at the D-pairings for tonight. I don’t think it is a guarantee that the top four will consist of 44, 71, 77 and 37. Renney wants his defense to be more aggressive, especially at the blueline. But they can only stand up the opposing forwards if the Oiler forwards are backchecking.

The story so far...

Through six pre-season games the forwards and D-men haven’t been that cohesive yet. Quinn said it was almost like they were playing as two separate units, and there was too much space between them, especially in the neutral zone.

I’m curious how long it will take for those who ripped MacTavish for sucking the offence out of young Oilers to say the same about Quinn.

Quinn is adamant that this team will be better defensively before they work on their offence. Doesn’t that sound a lot like MacTavish? The difference is that this coaching staff has a different approach in how they are selling that message.

According to the players, the coaches have consistently relayed the same messages every day. Last year, after many games MacTavish and the media and the fans complained the team wasn’t physical enough.

But a player, who agreed they weren’t, said it was never a message the coaching staff hammered home every day. As strange as it sounds, if a coaching staff isn’t constantly focusing and reminding players how they should play, then the players won’t play that way.

The messages to the players have been clearer and right now they are being hammered home on a daily basis, and I’d expect that to continue all season. The players who buy in will play, and those who don’t won’t play and ultimately won’t be here very long.

This power struggle will be won by the coaching staff, and for some veterans and young players, they'd better realize that quickly.

The best fight I saw today

Who would have thought the best fight of the pre-season would have occurred at practice, and at Eskimo practice?

After leaving Rexall I went to watch the Eskimos practice and I witnessed the most one-sided football tilt I’ve seen in a long time.

During scrimmage, O-lineman Aaron Fiacconi and D-lineman Xzavie Jackson got into it. They threw some punches and then Fiacconi showed his hockey background: he ripped off Jackson’s helmet, pulled his head down and fed him two huge uppercuts, the second one dropped Jackson.

Jackson picked himself up off the turf and stormed off to the sidelines. Meanwhile Fiacconi went back to the huddle and got ready for the next play. Not one player said anything to Jackson. He was on the far sidelines, and then he proceeded to throw off his gloves, take off his practice jersey and walked towards the north end zone of Clark field. He walked across the endzone and towards the gate. Only receiver Maurice Mann came over to try and get him to not leave practice. Jackson barked something to him, and then proceeded to continue walking towards the dumpsters.

Thirty seconds later he returned with a shovel that he had found. He was slowly walking back towards the field when trainer TD Forss and Danny Maciocia stopped to talk to him. Jackson was visibly upset, and after some talking he left towards the locker room with Forss.

His left eye was swollen shut and had a cut on it. The strangest part for me wasn’t that he found a shovel and contemplated going WWE on someone, but that not one of his defensive teammates did anything on the field, or said anything to him on the sidelines.

Their silence told me he isn’t that respected in the locker room and I can’t see him sticking around very long. Rarely is a football fight more entertaining than a hockey fight.

***UPDATE***

I got some confirmation that the Oilers and Predators are kicking each other tires. Nilsson would seem like an obvious choice, but I've heard whispers about Pouliot and Pisani as well. Nashville has lots of cap space if they want to acquire either Pisani or Nilsson.

I know the Oilers have lots of D-men, but would Hamhuis be of interest to them? We'll see.

It sounds like there might be some interesting names across the NHL that might land on waivers as early this weekend.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#1 Sam
September 24 2009, 02:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This is for Robin:

I'm a dork! [lovingly edited by bingofuel, hater of "first!"]

Avatar
#2 Rogue
September 24 2009, 02:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Second! Damn....

Avatar
#3 The Towel Boy
September 24 2009, 02:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Sam:

....sigh.

Avatar
#4 Charlie
September 24 2009, 02:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

What a picture! One of the best on this site so far boys. Nice work.

Avatar
#5 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 02:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Gregor: Does Ryan Stone have to clear waivers?

Avatar
#6 Jeff
September 24 2009, 02:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

If I were Pouliot I'd milk that injury until the season starts.

Avatar
#7 Souby
September 24 2009, 02:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ouch. That has to hurt if your Jackson. First you get you but handed to you. Next, not one of your defensive teammates does anything about it. If Jackson can't read the writing on the wall, I can lend him my glasses!

Avatar
#8 ronaldo
September 24 2009, 02:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Now Quinn has another stick to use for players not buying in- he will cut up the top of their mouths.

Avatar
#9 Oilchange45
September 24 2009, 02:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Agreed - MacT would have been ripped for taking much the same approach - but that is in the past - and I like it.

Waiting for regular season...tick....tick...tick....

Avatar
#10 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 02:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Thirty seconds later he returned with a shovel that he had found. He was slowly walking back towards the field when trainer TD Forss and Danny Maciocia stopped to talk to him. Jackson was visibly upset, and after some talking he left towards the locker room with Forss.

HAhaHAhaHAhaHAha

Avatar
#11 Oilchange45
September 24 2009, 02:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Not sure what is worse for Jackson - no backup, going to find a shovel, or letting Maciocia talk you out of it.

Avatar
#12 venue
September 24 2009, 02:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I'm excited to see what Penner/Eberle/Schremp do tonite. Is Hedman playing for TB?

Avatar
#13 oilman007
September 24 2009, 02:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Interesting to see Stone stuck in back-to-back and finally not with Comrie/O'Sullivan. He better come up big tonight if he hopes to lock down a roster spot.

I am surprised to hear Pouliot would get the free pass if he doesn't play.

Avatar
#14 Jordan
September 24 2009, 02:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jason, What % do you give Eberle making the team this year?

Avatar
#15 Ogden Brother
September 24 2009, 02:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

venue wrote:

I’m excited to see what Penner/Eberle/Schremp do tonite. Is Hedman playing for TB?

Speaking of Headman, has anyone heard if he's living up to the billing thus far?

Avatar
#16 LBH
September 24 2009, 02:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Wow! Go Eskies! haha

Avatar
#17 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 02:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Chorney should be on the bubble too?

Outside of watching all the bubble players today, I will be interested to see what the Vets do tonight. Do they respond?

Avatar
#18 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 02:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ LBH: Now if they could only keep that fire going into saturday's game.

Avatar
#19 Joey Moss
September 24 2009, 02:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

where am i? eskimo nation?

Avatar
#20 DK0
September 24 2009, 02:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Joey Moss wrote:

where am i? eskimo nation?

I dont see everyone yelling "What is this? drunken stupor nation?" every time Wanye posts an article. Its a crazy story and I'm glad he shared it, even if it wasn't about the oilers.

Avatar
#21 Joey Moss
September 24 2009, 02:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ DK0: the thing is, i like and expect the wanye stuff.... the eskimo stuff i could care less about.

Avatar
#22 Poo Czar
September 24 2009, 02:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Joey Moss wrote:

where am i? eskimo nation?

Depends - are you in Iqaluit?

Avatar
#23 WainwrightDan
September 24 2009, 03:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Joey Moss wrote:

@ DK0: the thing is, i like and expect the wanye stuff…. the eskimo stuff i could care less about.

The thing is, most Oil fans are eskie fans too. Regardless, it was entertaining and I appreciate Gregor's insights/observations that the MSM fail to report on.

If you don't like it you don't really have to read it (motions to the door) ...

Avatar
#24 Poo Czar
September 24 2009, 03:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Joey Moss:

You really do have the option to not read certain parts of the content y'know. I for one don't really listen to AM Radio (sorry Gregor!), so when articles mention host changes and whatnot I don't get all pissy, I just skim along until I get to whatever I'm interested in. Worth a shot, no?

Avatar
#25 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 03:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Gregor/Brownlee: Could you see the Oil moving a key vet prior to the season's start (Pisani/Moreau/Staios) to shake things up?

Avatar
#26 Kieso
September 24 2009, 03:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Just an FYI for everyone thinking that Oilers could have signed Malholtra this summer as a free agent or should have signed him as a UFA.

According to SJ Mercury News Malholtra indicated that -

“At the beginning of the summer, I talked with my wife and we decided to make the commitment to go somewhere we could win now,” he said. “When an opportunity like coming to San Jose comes about, you jump at that.”

He signed a one year deal for $700k and turned down a four-year $8 million offer so the Oilers could have never been in his plans.

Maybe this is why the Oilers had no interest in this player as they would not have been able to get him. I could just imagine the oilernation complaints if he signed here for 4 years.

Avatar
#27 Samwise
September 24 2009, 03:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

WainwrightDan wrote:

If you don’t like it you don’t really have to read it (motions to the door) …

Careful... he may come back with a shovel...

Avatar
#28 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 03:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Would C Jerrid Smithson out of Nashville of interest? Or former Quinn enforcer Wade Belak (as opposed to S-Mac)? Or are the Oil just looking to move a player for pick?

Avatar
#29 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 03:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Kieso: I think it was common knowledge that he wanted to go to a contender after turning down Atlanta's offer. I don't think Tambo would've offered him that long of a deal anyways. There was how many of these guys available and we never really seemed to pursue any.

Avatar
#30 Tapdog
September 24 2009, 03:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Gregor "I know the Oilers have lots of D-men, but would Hamhuis be of interest to them? We’ll see."

Not 100% sure but wasn't Hamhuis an Oiler pick years back and when we could not sign him he went back into the draft? I would think that if they pick up a D-man from Nashville there would have to be another trade in the works? Perhaps Staios?

Avatar
#31 I'm a Scientist!
September 24 2009, 03:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I won't believe the Nashville rumor until Wanye weighs in with the details...

*sit and waits...*

Avatar
#32 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 03:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ RossCreek: I don't see Belak as an option.

I looked at Smitherson, 52% faceoff, I think he was close to leading the Preds in hits by a forward, led them in PK time up front, and he has the size we need.

Seems like he could be an option.

Avatar
#33 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 03:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Tapdog wrote:

Not 100% sure but wasn’t Hamhuis an Oiler pick years back and when we could not sign him he went back into the draft?

Incorrect. The most notable guy the Oilers lost going back into the draft was Matthew Lombardi. The Flames took him, and the Oil took Jarret Stoll, who Calgary had lost going back into the draft. Hamhuis is an original Predators draft pick.

Avatar
#34 Rick
September 24 2009, 03:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

If the Oilers are talking trade with the Preds, why would they want a player back?

The Oilers already have too many players under contract and they have cap concerns.

Getting anything other than picks or non-waiver, non-NHL ready prospects makes no sense to me.

As for Pisani's name being in the mix, I can't say it's a surprise to hear it but he is the only guy that's coming off the books at the end of the year and he is a legitimate reliable NHLer.

From Tambellini's point of view he has to see Nilsson as the only option heading to the music city if there is a deal to be had there. It's a deal that works for both this season and improves the situation heading into next season when considering the cap.

Avatar
#35 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 03:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Rick wrote:

If the Oilers are talking trade with the Preds, why would they want a player back? The Oilers already have too many players under contract and they have cap concerns. Getting anything other than picks or non-waiver, non-NHL ready prospects makes no sense to me.

What if the player you get back is an upgrade on one of yoour other players? If you improve your 12th forward, you improve your team.

Avatar
#36 Tayranchula
September 24 2009, 03:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I think the Oilers should trade for Wayne Simmonds in LA, hes a nasty mutha f'er.

Avatar
#37 Tapdog
September 24 2009, 03:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ RossCreek: RossCreek wrote:

Tapdog wrote: Not 100% sure but wasn’t Hamhuis an Oiler pick years back and when we could not sign him he went back into the draft? Incorrect. The most notable guy the Oilers lost going back into the draft was Matthew Lombardi. The Flames took him, and the Oil took Jarret Stoll, who Calgary had lost going back into the draft. Hamhuis is an original Predators draft pick.

Thanks, not sure why I was thinking this.

Avatar
#38 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 03:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ RossCreek: Pretty much my thinking. Right now if Nilsson holds no value to us we risk losing him to waivers for nothing. If we can get someone that helps fill a void then great.

Just because we have too many contracts doesn't mean we shouldn't add someone if he can help. All that means is Tambo has to man up and risk losing one of his project players that are going no where.

Avatar
#39 SportLife » GDB minus-2: It’s crunch time
September 24 2009, 03:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

[...] and Eberle are all on the bubble. And so is Pouliot, but he is out with a slight muscle pull. Qu Go to Source Leave a comment Related PostsAugust 29, 2009 -- The answer, my friend, is throwin’ in [...]

Avatar
#40 Tapdog
September 24 2009, 03:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ogden Brother Jr. wrote:

@ RossCreek: I don’t see Belak as an option. I looked at Smitherson, 52% faceoff, I think he was close to leading the Preds in hits by a forward, led them in PK time up front, and he has the size we need. Seems like he could be an option.

If the Oilers were going to take on a contract, don't you think they would go after a pain in the butt kind of player like Tootoo? Do you think with all the centres we have already, Smitherson would be bumping out Brule?

Avatar
#41 venue
September 24 2009, 03:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Tapdog: It's Smithson, not Smitherson.

Carry on.

Avatar
#42 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 03:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Tapdog: Tootoo won't be moved as per some hockey guy from Nashville. They really like him and don't see the need to move him.

Smithson(sorry) could very well bump out Brule. Right now I have heard good things about both Brule and Pouilot. Smithson brings what Brule and Pouilot have and then some. Both Brule and Pouilot are on the bubble, neither has stepped up and took that 4th line center job. Maybe it is time to think about a more stable option?

Avatar
#43 Tapdog
September 24 2009, 03:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ogden Brother Jr. wrote:

@ Tapdog: Tootoo won’t be moved as per some hockey guy from Nashville. They really like him and don’t see the need to move him. Smithson(sorry) could very well bump out Brule. Right now I have heard good things about both Brule and Pouilot. Smithson brings what Brule and Pouilot have and then some. Both Brule and Pouilot are on the bubble, neither has stepped up and took that 4th line center job. Maybe it is time to think about a more stable option?

Ok spelling police, I copied it out of RossCreeks post! Can't say that I know much about this fellow but if he will be an upgrade to this team, that is what counts.

Avatar
#44 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 24 2009, 03:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Tapdog: I fudged it

Avatar
#45 Jimmy
September 24 2009, 04:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This is going to be an early game to watch for all you Albertans.

If you're looking for me, I'll be the one in the Oilers home jersey chowing down on a giant paper plate full of perogies and sauteed onions. God bless the MTS Centre.

Avatar
#46 David S
September 24 2009, 04:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Jimmy wrote:

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the one in the Oilers home jersey chowing down on a giant paper plate full of perogies and sauteed onions

Mmmmm...perogies.

Huh? What? Oh yeah. Schremp + Penner = FAIL. Poor Eberle. Last game in the bigs for a while and he has to hop aboard the fail train. The best thing about this game? No more talk about "Rob Schremp Hockey".

Avatar
#47 Jason Gregor
September 24 2009, 04:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

RossCreek wrote:

@ Gregor: Does Ryan Stone have to clear waivers?

Yes...

Jordan wrote:

Jason, What % do you give Eberle making the team this year?

I would say five% RossCreek wrote:

@ Gregor/Brownlee: Could you see the Oil moving a key vet prior to the season’s start (Pisani/Moreau/Staios) to shake things up?

If the right offer is there yes, but I don't think Moreau will be the guy. Out of the three you mentioned I would say Pisani would be the one. He only has one year left on his deal, which would make him more attractive to the team getting him.

Avatar
#48 Prop Jay
September 24 2009, 04:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I'd say the oil are after tootoo if they are talking to preds. Its clear they want grit and tootoo adds grit and more grit.

Nashville could do for some more skill and then tootoo's defensive game is replaced with pisani

Avatar
#49 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 04:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ Prop Jay: Off topic - Do you know who's comin to town with Jay-Z?

Avatar
#50 Jason Gregor
September 24 2009, 04:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Tapdog wrote:

Not 100% sure but wasn’t Hamhuis an Oiler pick years back and when we could not sign him he went back into the draft?

Hamhuis was drafted in the first round, 12th overall in 2001 when he was 18. So no he was never drafted by the Oilers.

The only player I can recall who they drafted, didn't sign and then was drafted again was Matt Lombardi. The Oilers drafted him in the 7th round in 2000, then the Flames took him in the 3rd round in 2002.

That was the "unofficial" Stoll for Lombardi trade. The Flames had drafted Stoll 46th overall in 2000, they couldn't sign him and then the Oilers drafted him 36th overall in 2002.

Comments are closed for this article.