Job Market

Lowetide
September 20 2010 06:40PM

With the 20 roster cuts this afternoon, the Oilers are down to a more workable number. The truth is we could probably cut this roster down ourselves (and right now) and be very close to the 23 who'll make the grade. How many spots are open for competition? My answer is 6.

We can begin the conversation by listing all of the contracts that won't be moved and the players who will be an integral part of the 10-11 Oilers:

  1. Nikolai Khabibulin
  2. Tom Gilbert
  3. Ryan Whitney
  4. Kurtis Foster
  5. Ladislav Smid
  6. Jim Vandermeer
  7. Dustin Penner
  8. Ales Hemsky
  9. Sam Gagner
  10. Shawn Horcoff
  11. Taylor Hall
  12. Gilbert Brule
  13. Andrew Cogliano
  14. Ryan Jones
  15. Colin Fraser
  16. Zack Stortini
  17. Steve MacIntyre

That leaves 6 roster spots open. One goalie, two defenders and three forwards. Allow me to list the 6 players I believe will fill those slots:

  1. Devan Dubnyk
  2. Jason Strudwick
  3. Theo Peckham
  4. Magnus Pääjärvi
  5. Jordan Eberle
  6. Ryan O'Marra

I'm assuming (as Jason Gregor has been telling us for some time) that JF Jacques won't be ready. That means all of the other TC players are fighting with the 6  names in bold for big league employment. Here are the names:

  1. Jeff Deslauriers
  2. Martin Gerber
  3. Olivier Roy
  4. Shawn Belle
  5. Taylor Chorney
  6. Alex Plante
  7. Jeff Petry
  8. Richard Petiot
  9. Johan Motin
  10. Linus Omark 
  11. Alex Giroux
  12. Liam Reddox
  13. Brad Moran
  14. Greg Stewart
  15. Ben Ondrus 
  16. Chris Vande Velde 
  17. Teemu Hartikainen
  18. Tyler Pitlick
  19. Cameron Abney

I think that is everyone. However, there are lots of  names in there without a snowball's chance in hell of making the final cut. I have placed the strongest contenders in italics.  JDD might beat DD, Belle could win a job over either Strudiwck or Peckham, and O'Marra is such a weak option for the extra C that Omark, Giroux and Reddox are in the mix. Anyone else? If my ramblings are true, we can probably predict the next 14 cuts: Gerber, Roy, Chorney, Plante, Petry, Petiot, Motin, Moran, Stewart, Ondrus, VV, Hartikainen, Pitlick and Abney. 

Steve Tambellini's Oilers are going to be very young, and unless they make a deal over the  next two weeks, we're looking at (at MOST) one or two surprises at camp. Maybe Renney risks waivers for Peckham in favor of Belle, maybe the club decides Deslauriers is the man to backup Super Bowl Sunday and maybe O'Marra doesn't win that last F slot (well, 13th ahead of MacIntyre). 

But this camp looks predictable from here. I can't see this year's Ryan Stone  in there. Can you? 

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 esa tikkanen
September 20 2010, 06:58PM
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LT

Given that Belle also has to clear waivers, he is only 25, he has two years of ahl experience where he was actually quite good and on a good team, and is a former first round pick (from the best year in 30 years 2003 no less) why is it any more of a risk to try to clear Peckham through waivers over Belle?

Especially considering his nhl salary wouldn't be any higher and he is likely quite a bit player right now.

My list includes Belle over Peckham, and if O'Marra makes the team HE is this year's Ryan Stone.

My pick however to surprise us is Giroux. You dont get 60 goals in the AHL without talent. Maybe he is Hemsky's long lost left winger with size and the ability to bury the puck!?

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#2 esa tikkanen
September 20 2010, 07:05PM
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Those of you worrying about losing Mr. Minus himself Theo Peckham on the waiver wire are suffering from a serious case of overvaluing the hometown prospects.

If anything the oil should send him down so they can pick up someone else's 8th dman with a better pedigree and more ahl experience.

Inckuding junior and the ahl Peckham has never been a plus player. Maybe one day he will be worth protecting but right now there is no way he is better than Belle or worth protecting more.

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#3 esa tikkanen
September 20 2010, 07:15PM
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I think if Peckham and Plante had been healthy last season that Chorney would not have played as much once it became evident he was in so far over his head. They had no choice but to play him there was nobody else left.

As for keeping Peckham just because they drafted him, well they made that mistake keeping Pouliot hoping he would become a checker. To me if Belle is better now keep him. He is right at the age where dmen mature and are ready to play . And at 240 i domt think we need to worry about him being a wallflower. 240 pound dmen who can skate like the wind are rare, he is the mike grier of dmen and we will love him in this town!

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#4 Muji 狗
September 20 2010, 06:48PM
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-Faceoffs are still a concern; how is O'Marra in the dot?
-I'd love to see Shawn Belle leapfrog Strudy & Peckham.
-Should Omark show strongly, does that push Eberle or PRV down?
-Tyler Pitlick has made a good 1st impression; hope he continues to impress.
-!

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#5 Cru Jones
September 20 2010, 06:49PM
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For youTube's sake, I'm pulling for Omark, aka "Snoopy"

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#6 Smokey
September 20 2010, 06:51PM
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Omark please, but I imagine if Oiler fans want him, he will sent to Sibera. The guy would go through a wall to play here

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#7 RossCreekNation
September 20 2010, 06:52PM
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I think maybe Giroux/Reddox over O'Marra... and the way Bob keeps pumping Belle's tires, maybe he makes it. Perhaps Strudwick to F?

Next round of (rather easy) cuts, imo...

Olivier Roy
Johan Motin
Richard Petiot
Brad Moran
Greg Stewart
Chris Vande Velde
Cameron Abney
Colin Mcdonald
Jake Taylor
Jared Aulin

Curious how Ben Ondrus is looking out there.

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#8 Racki
September 20 2010, 06:55PM
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Tambellini better not risk waivers with Peckham. I think that would be a real bad idea.

As for your list, I definitely agree with those choices being pretty likely. I kind of want to see Omark in place of O'Marra though, but I think it'll be tough to get him the ice time he needs, however.

Edit: Wow, I posted this before reading any posts.. some good support for Omark here. haha

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#11 Adam D
September 20 2010, 07:02PM
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I am not a fan of the "Snoopy" nickname for good ol' Linus. I know it's a reference to Peanuts, but given Omark's similarity to Youtube All-Star Robby Schremp, I'd rather name him after the youngest Van Pelt, Rerun.

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#13 Cru Jones
September 20 2010, 07:08PM
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@esa tikkanen

The Oilers have, time and time again, promoted Chorney as their top D prospect, and you're wondering why the love for Peckham?

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#15 Jason Gregor
September 20 2010, 07:27PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Abney staying is a little curious. It might be a matter of numbers for the JM game, I suspect he'll get sent down very soon.

They still have 46 bodies in camp. They had 66 and cut 20 today. Colin Mcdonald, Jake Taylor and Jared Aulin aren't on your list but are still in camp. None will make it though.

Abney will probably play Wed in Van...Toughness in preseason is important and it will be a good test for the young chucker. I suspect he will be sent to the Oil Kings Thursday so he is ready for season opener on Friday.

Also I will be stunned if O'Marra makes it. He doesn't look in great shape, but he is good in the dot so you never know.

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#16 RossCreekNation
September 20 2010, 07:31PM
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@Jason Gregor

Has Ondrus shown anything... was thinking perhaps he could be a spare forward... any chance? Isn't he full o' spunk?

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#18 Fish Oil
September 20 2010, 07:46PM
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This assumes, of course, that either Souray or the bag of pucks we get for him have been shipped to OKC. Otherwise, play him, sit him, make him clean toilets at Rexall - he still takes a roster spot.

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#19 c_tux
September 20 2010, 07:47PM
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LT, you've hinted of Strudwick's retirement on many occasions...are you picking up a different vibe on that situation now?

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#21 David S
September 20 2010, 07:53PM
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Lowetide wrote:

esa: Belle has cleared waivers in previous seasons, the Oilers drafted Peckham (which has some impact on decisions) and plays with that edge Renney has talked about a lot.

Having said that, the opportunity is there. They COULD risk waivers on Strudwick and have him on standby in the minors.

If winning was our first priority, I'd agree 100% with you. But since the goal this year is teaching and breaking in a whole flock of newbs, I think Strudwick plays on this team. They wouldn't have offered him a contract if they didn't think he'd be here. Besides, after flogging him to within an inch of his life last season, they owe him. He's almost like a playing coach right now and a damn good influence for the young guys.

In Chicago he parks cars for the other players. Here he starts.

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#22 David S
September 20 2010, 07:55PM
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Does anybody else think that Neil Sedaka looks a bit too much like Gretzky?

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#24 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
September 20 2010, 08:14PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Sedaka did tour southern Ontario several months previous to 99's birth. Just saying.

~brownlee was probably front row centre rocking a flower power t-shirt~

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#25 Reagan
September 20 2010, 08:15PM
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O'Marra over Omark? For real...?

I wouldn't have... Everything else checks out...

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#26 Cervantes
September 20 2010, 08:21PM
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Lowetide: Not a chance that O'Marra sticks around for an NHL game. If anything, VV or Teemu would get that shot, if Renney decides he needs another 2way guy. O'Marra was miserable on last years Falcons.

I agree with most of your picks, but I expect either Omark or Giroux get a cup of coffee over O'Marra. Renney has firmly stated Cogs will get a long look at C, and with Gags, Horcs and Fraser, that's our centres, and for occasional use, we have Penner (actually a really good faceoff guy), Hall (supposedly), and Hemmer (plays C everywhere but the NHL).

I also expect Belle will stay up and Struds will spend plenty of time in the press box.

Personally, I hope (and know it won't happen) that Renney takes the tip of a post last month here on ON... keep up the 4 guns (Hall, Clutch, MPS, YouTube), and always sit one out on a rotation...3 games on, one game off, for everyone. That way they get some much needed rest, all 4 get good minutes, and maybe we avoid injury a bit. I'd do the same with Pecks and Belle, both of whom would fit for me on the 3rd line. Flip then back and forth, a few games each, and let them get the experience they obviously need.

Also, I'm kind of surprised Marincin, Martindale, and Marquardt got sent down with the first cuts. Marincin looked pretty good on D, Martindale made some nice moves in the Youngstars, and Marquardt is the fridge on wheels we keep wanting. At least, over guys like Ondrus, Abney, Stewart and Moran.

So, we have a poll for Star and Goat... can we have a poll on how long before Tambi moves a few bodies? I say by the end of this week.

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#27 Suntory Hanzo
September 20 2010, 08:31PM
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@Jason Gregor

Any idea who will be playing in Vancouver? I am debating heading to the game. Are the teams split like last year?

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#28 Fish Oil
September 20 2010, 08:32PM
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LT, is my math wrong, or are we not looking at 22 roster spots to fill, plus Souray or his replacement?

This is what bugs me ... unless Souray gets shipped out, we also stand to lose a prospect on the wire.

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#29 jake
September 20 2010, 08:36PM
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LT, little off topic but do you know what ever happened to William Quist, 6th rounder 2007? Has he ever been to any camp (development, rookie, main) since draft?

Hockey's Future says: "The Oilers made it very clear that they wanted him to come to Canada and play in the CHL for the coming year but instead Quist has signed a contract with Nybro, a men’s league below the SEL. The Oilers are concerned that he’ll barely play if/when he isn’t a healthy scratch. He hasn’t accomplished much and has not taken advice from the organization so he’s definitely painted himself into a corner.

Profile Last Updated: March, 22nd 2010"

Curious as you never seem to have mentioned him at your other house.

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#30 PaperDesigner
September 20 2010, 08:37PM
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Could Pitlick be this year's Ryan O'Reily? I'm not sure I'd want to rush him onto the Oilers (O'Reily struggled for large portions last season), but it'd be fantastic news if he made it interesting this early in his career.

Omark might be seen as a faster, grittier, more experienced version of Eberle. They can't send Hall to the AHL, and Paajarvi is too big and too fast to not fit in as at least a third line winger, so I think the Omark/Eberle battle is one to watch. It'll be especially interesting if both show as NHL ready. Do you make room for both?

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#31 Buckwheat
September 20 2010, 08:38PM
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You've dropped Omark from your blog of September 13 and I'm not sure why. Personally, I agreed 100% with your prognositcations of the 13th, I thought you nailed it. . .

I like Omark, I also like Belle. When/If we see what returns for Sheldon the Treacherous, just may be that there's room for both.

I'd like to think that Omark is the 2010 version of Theo the Rat. He isn't though, at least not in the rat department. He's too nice a guy. (So far.)If he shows in camp, what the hey, give him a shot with the big club. This IS a development year, yes?

How many times has it been said that defencemen most always take more time to develop than do forwards? In this particular case, I think it surely does apply. One fine day I think both Peckham and Belle are going to 'get it,' and when they do I'm guessing they're both going to be NHL players. In fact, I like the upside potential of Belle; just give him an at long last defined roll. Let him get comfortable, let him gain his confidence. Peckham might turn out to be the second coming of Matt the Green One. (At least if he's given an other year or so in the A.) I'd rather chance Mr Strudwick clearing than him, but still, I think if it came to it he clears.

Strudwick has already got it, we've seen the movie, we know the ending. Yeah, he's great in the room, a wonderful person, a nurturing sort, blah blah. Would a position of assistant coach compromise him 'that much,' unable to assist in the development and rope-showing to the same degree as if a player?

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#32 Jason Gregor
September 20 2010, 08:54PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Has Ondrus shown anything... was thinking perhaps he could be a spare forward... any chance? Isn't he full o' spunk?

He plays with spunk but I don't see any way he makes this team out of camp. He isn't better than Jones, Stortini or MacIntyre.

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#33 Jason Gregor
September 20 2010, 08:57PM
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Lowetide wrote:

Forgot about those three. Interesting on O'Marra. I wonder who they look at for the extra C (after Gags, Horcoff, Fraser and Cogs).

Maybe Moran? Reddox?

I'd see Reddox as 14th forward ahead of O'Marra even though he isn't a natural centre. I'm not sure they keep a centre as 14th forward. They could use Brule if they want, and remember they will try Penner in the middle for a few preseason games.

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#34 Harlie
September 20 2010, 08:58PM
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David S wrote:

Does anybody else think that Neil Sedaka looks a bit too much like Gretzky?

or Ben Mulroney

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#35 Jason Gregor
September 20 2010, 09:00PM
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Suntory Hanzo wrote:

Any idea who will be playing in Vancouver? I am debating heading to the game. Are the teams split like last year?

We won't see the teams until tomorrow night. They won't play anyone Wed and Thurs...you will see a lesser lineup in Van I would suspect. No way Hall plays in Vancouver. They will save him for home game. I suspect the Cogliano line will play in Van...just a hunch.

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#37 Cru Jones
September 20 2010, 09:05PM
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@Buckwheat

I don't think Omark is that nice. From what I've read, he's got plenty of the same arrogance and ability to annoy that guys like Theo and Esa used to great effect. If I recall correctly, there was a story from across the pond about Omark drawing a penalty, and the guy going to the box accusing him of diving. Omark proceeded to set up the PP marker (one can only assume that he deeked out 3 guys and threw a behind the back pass between his legs to do so), proceed to scoop the puck out of the net, skate it over to the player in the box, and toss it over the glass, to one very PO'd Finn.

Sure, he'd get murdered for that over here, but it'd be damn funny.

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#38 RossCreekNation
September 20 2010, 09:08PM
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@Gregor

Ya, I don't see Ondrus as better than Jones or Stortini either, but with Jacques hurt (or even without for that matter), could Ondrus be a better option than JFJ? I know he doesn't have the size Jacques has, but he seems to have more P & V, no?

Also, check it...

The former owner of the Hartford Whalers is taking control of business operations of the city's minor league hockey team and renaming the franchise the Connecticut Whale... The team will begin the season as the Wolf Pack, but will change the name to the Whale sometime in the middle of the season, Baldwin said.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/ex-whalers-owner-to-take-over-operations-of-hartford-ahl-franchise/article1715596/

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#41 a lg dubl dubl
September 20 2010, 09:19PM
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I think the line ups might look like this:

1)Penner;Gagner;Hemsky 2)Hall;Horcoff;Eberle 3)Brule;Cogs;Paaravi 4)Stortini;Fraser;Smac

Defence:

1)Gilbert;Whhhitney 2)Smid;Foster 3)Vandermeer;Belle

DD backs up the drunk

Peckham;Omark;Jones as needed from the press box.

That is all.

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#42 Cru Jones
September 20 2010, 09:27PM
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@a lg dubl dubl

Switch Peckham and Belle, and I don't think I have a single problem with that line up.

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#43 Archaeologuy
September 20 2010, 09:43PM
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I can see Omark as a 13/14th forward. He's a rookie who will push the big 3 for a spot in the line-up. His skill-set is also probably a good fit to inject in place of any of the rookies that struggle and need to sit out a game or two. He might not be an everyday guy right now, but he can still push those kids to be better.

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#44 Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child
September 20 2010, 10:05PM
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LT what are you talking about? According to you Strudwick is retiring after TC http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2010/09/training-camp-predictions.html so then Belle or Peckham will automatically make the team.

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#46 BArmstrong
September 20 2010, 10:39PM
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@a lg dubl dubl

Yup that's about it. I'd agree with Cru Jones with Peckham over Belle. And if Struds stays active, one of them will go down.

@Cervantes

I like this idea of rotating the four kids through three roster spots. I'm concerned about the lack of grit on the top 9 though.

@Adam D

I don't like the nickname "Snoopy" either. Hey, he's an under sized forward with a great Irish name... O'Mark. Why not The Leprechaun? Maybe we've just mistaken his Swedish accent for a Dublin brogue:)

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#47 Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child
September 20 2010, 10:45PM
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@Lowetide

Ya i know but this is the 2nd or 3rd time i recall you mentioning it...Do you have some crazy inside information? Or are you basing it on the fact that Struddy has a very inflated salary for a player who will maybe play 50 games, and who has less ability than Belle and Peckham.?

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#48 longbottom/P.Biglow
September 20 2010, 10:51PM
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@David S

Exactly struwick isn't going to be here for his playing ability he is going to be mentoring the kids sort of an Player/coach and really what better guy for it he has had to claw his way in the NHL and done it very professionally. O for O....lol Omara stays for awhile while Omark lights it up in Oak City as star power. At least that is my perception in the whole situation.

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#49 Craig1981
September 20 2010, 10:54PM
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I hear some people saying it is hard for Hall, Eberle,Svensson, and Omark to all make it due to playing time and top 6 minutes or that having one of them as a 13th or 14th doesn't get them ice time. Would it not be easy to have them rotate in and out of the lineup and play 3 out of every 4. They may only play 65-70 games that way but that would be more than any of them played last year.

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#50 Craig1981
September 20 2010, 11:52PM
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@Mike from Canmore's illegitimate love child

Very inflated salary? He make $225,000 over league min. He also does a ton of extra 'volunteer' work that is huge help to the organization as well. I think he is entitiled to get paid more than a MacIntyre or Brett Sutter

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