A WEEK OF WAITING

Jason Gregor
October 03 2011 11:07AM

If you thought the off-season was long, then this week might kill most Oiler fans. The Oilers don't open their season until Sunday, they will be the last team to play a regular season game, with the Jets opening their season a few hours earlier.

The only positive is that it gives Ryan Whitney more time to get healthy. Whitney was on the ice this morning wearing a regular jersey and he was paired with Tom Gilbert. He didn't wince when he pivoted, which is the motion that causes him the most discomfort, but I won't know until after practice if he thinks he might be ready for Sunday.

The Oilers only had six D-men on the ice this morning. Andy Sutton, Gilbert's regular partner, didn't skate and that is likely why Whitney was so involved in practice. Ladislav Smid is out with a separated shoulder, Taylor Chorney has a wonky knee and Taylor Fedun is still in a Minnesota hospital.

 

Ben Eager was on the ice this morning, but he was wearing a baby blue jersey and didn't take part in all the drills. He looked good wheeling by few D-men during one-on-one drills, and  when I spoke to hinm last he was certain he'd be cleared for contact later this week.

QUICK HITS

  • I was pleasantly surprised that the Oilers sent Gilbert Brule to OKC yesterday. Based on his play in preseason he deserved the demotion, but that isn't always the case in the NHL. Numerous teams will keep guys on one-way deals over a newcomer who has a two-way deal. Brule is a good guy, who has much more important issues in his life to deal with other than getting demoted, but the Oilers had to send him down.

    They've had too many "wildcard" players the past few seasons. Players that they couldn't rely on game-to-game. Brule wasn't the only one, and I'm curious to see if they continue getting rid of other "wildcards" in the coming season.
     
  • Even though Lennart Petrell was my surprise pick to make the roster, I'm not certain how much of an impact, if any, he has this year. He needs to do more than just be a solid penalty killer for three minutes a game, and I'm not sure Renney has him pencilled in as one of his top-four PK forwards at this time. Horcoff, Smyth, Paajarvi, Belanger and Eberle might all still be ahead of him.
     
  • I still think that Anton Lander is here until Sam Gagner is healthy. I have no doubt Lander will be a solid player in the future, I just think he'd be better served playing 1st or 2nd line minutes in the AHL than 4th line minutes in Edmonton. The most encouraging part of Lander's game is his desire and work ethic. He also thinks the game very well, but his best attribute is his competitive drive. In the past few seasons, the Oilers have had too many guys who didn't match the intensity level of the opposition. Lander won't be one of those guys once he becomes a regular NHLer. 
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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
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#101 Wanyes bastard child
October 03 2011, 06:03PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Yes, he was skating with Hall and RNH. They will be the first line on Sunday.

Smyth/Belanger/Eberle Paajarvi/Horcoff/Omark Jones/Lander/Petrell

D pairings likely will be

Gilbert/Sutton Barker/Petry Peckham/Potter

Interesting to see Belanger a line ahead of Horcoff but all in all the forward lines don't look tooooo too bad... Does Petrell still get the nod if Eager is ready?

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#105 Release the Hounds
October 03 2011, 06:39PM
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I have been an Oiler fan since they arrived in the NHL. My prediction for this season is another 25th or worse finish. Reason? The Oilers have lost any and all respect of the other 29 teams they play against, the on-ice officials and the NHL executive. Watching the Canuckleheads run players on Saturday might without any fear of retribution (From TSN: "Marco Sturm and Alex Edler have avoided suspensions after a pair of controversial hits vs. the Oilers.") just reinforces this. AND, no mention of Bieksa's knee on Hall. And its not only the Canucks either. And we question why our injury situation is the way it is? Total lack of respect.

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#106 loosenoodle
October 03 2011, 06:41PM
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SJ wrote:

One of these teams will win the Cup 2012

Boston Pitt Philly Wash Buff

Van SJ LA Chi

Tomorrow it will be either cloudy, sunny, light or dark.

SJ's son.

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#107 Bucknuck
October 03 2011, 07:56PM
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Jason is saying who the contenders are. Why all the a-hole comments?

Those of you complaining about Jason Gregor's prediction, man up. Declare your final four right now.

Mine:

EAST Washington, Lightning

WEST LA, Chicago

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#108 longbottom/P.Biglow
October 03 2011, 08:04PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Yes sir, really.

That 5th yr NHL'er will be put in his place by an 18 yr old raw rookie in his first year. Hopkins will have more points this season than Gagner plays games. 89 is fools gold. Feel free to try and change my mind if you like.

There is nothing to change if you can't see talent. Ganger is turning or just turned 23 going into his 5th season. there is a level players play ar then from the 5th season on they get it and there is a noticeable difference. Lets use the D.Sedin for example. The first four seasons he averaged 37.7 points a season, the six seasons after his average is 83.3. Now before you jump down my throat Gagner may not have that big of increase but for his first four seasons he averaged 44.4. Not bad for a so called fourth line center like you say.

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#109 Quicksilver ballet
October 03 2011, 08:26PM
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@longbottom/P.Biglow

The Sedins didn't have the same challenges Sam has. He's not as quick of foot as the Sedins, not as strong in his own end defensively and physically he's seperated him from the puck with the greatest of ease.

What say you Longbottom sir?

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#110 Quicksliver Bullet
October 03 2011, 08:35PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Bell media owns those stations. Astral owns the TEAM 1260...Maybe a naming rights package, but not a sale.

Careful JG . . .you might be an insider. Ouch . . . you'll be in trouble just like a certain "doctor" we both know!

LOL!

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#111 longbottom/P.Biglow
October 03 2011, 08:36PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

There my friend are where you are wrong. The Sedins got their nicknames the Sisters in the first four years when you could blow them over. They were softer than Sam Gagner then and in many ways they have less compete. How many fights have the Sedins ever been in? Gagner came into this preseason stronger and faster by all accounts, again its the five year rule he knows how and what to do in the and before the preseason. In the fifth year players have more commitment to the off-season training.

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#112 Quicksliver Bullet
October 03 2011, 08:43PM
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Bucknuck . . .whoah buddy, we've all had a few. . .let's settle it down!

Your final four prediction is hilarious!

Here's mine . . .

West: Edmonton, Minnesota East: Winnipeg, Ottawa

Bettman's freakin' nightmare!

HAHAHAHAHA!

Not as funny as you Bucknuck, but hey, who is?

(and I'm a professional)

*ggl*

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#113 Quicksilver ballet
October 03 2011, 08:45PM
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longbottom/P.Biglow wrote:

There my friend are where you are wrong. The Sedins got their nicknames the Sisters in the first four years when you could blow them over. They were softer than Sam Gagner then and in many ways they have less compete. How many fights have the Sedins ever been in? Gagner came into this preseason stronger and faster by all accounts, again its the five year rule he knows how and what to do in the and before the preseason. In the fifth year players have more commitment to the off-season training.

Would you send Sam Gagner and Alex Plante to Dallas in exchange for their first round selection next summer?

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#114 Quicksliver Bullet
October 03 2011, 08:48PM
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I would send Sam Gagner and Alex Plante to Dallas in exchange for their first round selection next summer. Then again, I'm not longbottom, so what do I know?

Bucknuck? Thoughts?

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#115 longbottom/P.Biglow
October 03 2011, 08:59PM
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no I personally would keep Sam 2 more years. Imagine the worth of a solid second line center with 6-7 years exp at 25. You would be able to get your final pieces yes I said pieces to your puzzle. Sam will be on a good value contract and Lander will be ready to step in then. The pressure on Lander to step in right now is crazy let him get 2 years to learn the NHL game on a smaller Ice serface. It just takes Patience that is all.

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#116 Dog Train
October 03 2011, 11:08PM
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We always seem to be one of the last teams to start the regular season. With all of our injuries, at least it gives us a chance to get one or two guys back for the opener.

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#117 Oilcruzer
October 03 2011, 11:44PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Bell media owns those stations. Astral owns the TEAM 1260...Maybe a naming rights package, but not a sale.

Makes more sense. Ya gotta think the mothership has an agenda tho.

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#118 Bucknuck
October 04 2011, 02:29PM
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Quicksliver Bullet wrote:

I would send Sam Gagner and Alex Plante to Dallas in exchange for their first round selection next summer. Then again, I'm not longbottom, so what do I know?

Bucknuck? Thoughts?

Not sure why you are singling me out, but I am certainly against trading live bodies for draft picks at this point in the rebuild. That cupboard is pretty full of prospects.

I am uncertain what the market value for Gagner would be. Considering his age and offensive ability it would be pretty good, but certainly not worth a top pairing D which is what this team really needs.

If the Hemsky talks are going nowhere he would be on my trade block, though I love watching him play (entertainment value). Still, you have to give up something to get something.

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#119 Wäx Män Riley
October 04 2011, 04:47PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The Sedins didn't have the same challenges Sam has. He's not as quick of foot as the Sedins, not as strong in his own end defensively and physically he's seperated him from the puck with the greatest of ease.

What say you Longbottom sir?

Yet he has been able to outscore the Sedins to this point in each of their careers......

That has to make even the biggest haters think

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#120 Bigfan
October 04 2011, 09:42PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

One of these team won't make the playoffs:

Edmonton, Dallas, Calgary, Phoenix

Winnipeg, Florida, Carolina, and NY Islanders.

Just thought I would take the time out to point out the blatantly obvious.

I think you mean: At least one of the following will not make the playoffs. Just one of them not making the playoffs seems very unlikely.

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