Time for a new Lander?

Lowetide
March 07 2011 07:16PM

With the SEL season over for his TIMRA squad, savvy center Anton Lander has some decisions to make.

Anton Lander has already been asked the question. The Swedish media want to know if another season in TIMRA is possible for the young 2-way C. The latest quote (filtered through google translate) comes from Hockey Express:

  • "It can be farmer's league, the NHL or Timra. It is completely wide open. I must know what to feel and what is best for me and my development. There are many things that come into play."

I've been hoping the Oilers would sign Lander and bring him over for a late season look-see with OKC Barons. It would give GM Steve Tambellini and the rest of the Oilers braintrust an idea about how close Lander is to NHL duty. At this point, his SEL season--while solid--has enough questions for us to wonder about his readiness.

In his first 42 games, Lander was cruising (9-14-23 -4) but his final 7 games (2-1-3 -9) were part of a team free fall that saw Timra lose a playoff spot and come alarmingly close to relegation. From Lander's point of view, there may be an urge to stay another year before leaving his SEL team for the big leagues.

The Oilers C depth chart at the pro level for 10-11 looks like this:

  1. Shawn Horcoff (Oilers)
  2. Sam Gagner (Oilers)
  3. Andrew Cogliano (Oilers)
  4. Colin Fraser (Oilers)
  5. Ryan O'Marra (Barons)
  6. Milan Kytnar (Barons)
  7. Chris Vande Velde (Barons)

This is not the 1927 Yankees, and there are a few wingers (Brule, Hall, Reddox) who may end up playing the middle next season). Bubbling under, outside the NHL but turning pro or coming over from Europe this fall, could be the following:

  1. Anton Lander: 2-way C with excellent speed. 49gp, 11-15-26 SEL
  2. Tyler Pitlick: Tambellini is high on him, saying here that “Pitlick’s a horse. I see him as a second- to third-line centre:" Turns 20 in November, suffered an ankle injury last week. Played wing in Medicine Hat but the organization sees him in the middle.
  3. Ryan Martindale: Skill center turns 20 in late October of this season and can turn pro. 60gp, 34-47-81 currently playing the middle in one of the OHL's high octane scoring lines.

The Oilers have a lot of duplication at the NHL level and Lander's skill set is unique in the group (save the veteran Horcoff) because of his impressive 2-way resume even at a young age.

Bob McKenzie on draft day: Lander is a two-way checking forward with excellent outside speed. He can make plays at full speed and controls the puck with a lot of confidence. A very unselfish player, Lander is always aware of where his teammates are and makes good crisp passes. He is a hard working forechecker, keeping his feet moving all the time. With a strong quick release wrist shot, he often uses d-men as a screen off the offensive rush. Lander drives the net hard with and without the puck and doesn’t quit on the puck until the whistle goes. Reliable and disciplined, he brings a consistent effort to the rink every game and always improves his team’s chances of winning a game. Will adapt and play any role given by coach."

For the Edmonton Oilers, Anton Lander represents real hope for the future. Skilled with an idea about how to play without the puck. A few games in the AHL before the season runs out could benefit both player and organization in evaluating the future.

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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 TSN 1260.
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#1 Smokey
March 07 2011, 07:24PM
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I get to post first without the F word. Thank goodness.

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#2 B.D.G.
March 07 2011, 07:24PM
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They should definitely have lander play the rest of the season in OKC, but come training camp in the fall... He needs to earn it.

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#3 forestscooter
March 07 2011, 07:30PM
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I hope the Oilers do bring him over and give him a look. Depth at the center position may dictate what trades they 'do/don't' make at the draft and who they 'may/may not' draft. That's a pretty good reason alone.

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#4 Oilcruzer
March 07 2011, 07:36PM
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I have no clue what's right on this one and right now I can't offer an opinion that's bordering on intelligent.

(Pretend I'm a Flame Fan.)

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#5 Dan the Man
March 07 2011, 07:44PM
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I would be quite disappointed if the Oil were not able to bring Lander over for a look this year. He looked like a real competitor at the world juniors.

But what happened to Vande Velde this year?

I thought he had a really nice training camp and pre-season and he would be the type of player the Oilers could use as a 4C.

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#6 robinrussia
March 07 2011, 08:00PM
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Could he still come to OK and be eligible for the playoffs? Junior players can be added, but not sure what his status is playing in SEL

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#7 VK63
March 07 2011, 08:17PM
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Farmers league? Could the Oilers compete in that one? Who we gotta beat? Provost or Sedgewick?

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#8 Cervantes
March 07 2011, 08:21PM
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I think your statement on our centre depth is overstated, especially since it seems that the Oilers model is 3 scoring lines and a huge tough defense instead of Top6/Checking/Energy

1.Shawn Horcoff (1/2 C) 2.Sam Gagner (2/3, trade bait for an upgrade) 3.Andrew Cogliano (3C/PK, might be moved to wing) 4.Colin Fraser (After a disappointingly uneventful season, I expect CF to be in OKC or moved next year.) 5.Ryan O'Marra (Didnt' look horrible in his games, but probably low on the chart) 6.Milan Kytnar (Will get a good look.) 7.Chris Vande Velde (Great training camp, bad season, he's more likely to be a 4th line winger if he hits the big leagues.)

Throw in Martindale (having a great year in the O, but not likely to jump to the big club) and Pitlick (looking good, but will only get a cup of coffee next year), and suddenly Lander is high up there. Young, experienced, two-way, leader. Faceoffs % is getting better.

With JFJ, Storts, Fraser, Smac, and Brule likely all heading out, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Lander in the mix for the bottom 6. Ideally lined up with a veteran, PK taking, faceoff winning centre who can show him how to get it done.

He's not huge, but put a bigger vet centre who can skate between 6', 190lb Lander and 5'11, 185lb Cogliano, and you have a good energy/checking/pk line that will scare other coaches into taking their 4th lines off the ice, and also teach both those kids how to win a faceoff. Seems like a good way to build for the future.

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#9 Peterborough
March 07 2011, 08:27PM
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I would like to see him stay there for another year. No need to rush him. I'm a big fan of letting smaller players fill out before making them play pro over here(Eberle, Omark). Plus its another year before to get a better look at guys like VanVelde and O'Marra who are both running out of time IMO.

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#10 Butters
March 07 2011, 08:37PM
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I think Cervantes nailed it. The Oilers want 3 scoring lines, one shut down line, and the biggest baddest defense in the league. Lander might be one of the shutdown guys. Maybe next year, maybe the year after.

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#11 justthestatsman
March 07 2011, 08:39PM
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VK63 wrote:

Farmers league? Could the Oilers compete in that one? Who we gotta beat? Provost or Sedgewick?

I think the Oilers can beat Provost and Sedgewick. Watch out for the Castor Raiders though, they're a nasty piece of work...

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#12 Halfwise
March 07 2011, 08:45PM
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@justthestatsman

Heh. Castor Raiders. I bet they play balls out hockey.

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#13 Harlie
March 07 2011, 08:53PM
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Smokey wrote:

I get to post first without the F word. Thank goodness.

Next time you will mark it zero!

...It's a league game, Smokey.

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#15 Coco crisp
March 07 2011, 09:02PM
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@Cervantes

Pretty sure Mac and brule will be back next season. Disregard the others.

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#16 Kodiak
March 07 2011, 09:11PM
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I would like to see Lander in OKC next year. A familiarity with the game over here and also with potential teammates would outweigh any reasons for him to stay in The SEL.

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#17 jake
March 07 2011, 09:14PM
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LT, at your other home you discussed the clear day list for AHL teams. He is not on that so how could they bring him over? Unless I am not understanding the list. Could they sign him to an AHL contract to finish the year?

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#18 Captain Oiler
March 07 2011, 09:31PM
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I just buzzed over to Leaf Nation and Canuck Army. Slow going over there. So this farmers league, could you write an article on that LT? I hear its the bomb. The Oilers would kill for a chance to compete in said league. Alas, we didn't qualify, again.

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#19 Peterborough
March 07 2011, 09:47PM
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Butters wrote:

I think Cervantes nailed it. The Oilers want 3 scoring lines, one shut down line, and the biggest baddest defense in the league. Lander might be one of the shutdown guys. Maybe next year, maybe the year after.

Most likely the year after that. Its probably best for contracts that way anyway. There is absolutely no rush at all on this guy or Hamilton or any of our young prospects. I'm convinced this guy plays for us and for a long time. Its a question of when he developes and I would prefer he take another year doing it before he starts his ELC with us.

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#20 freeze
March 07 2011, 10:01PM
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How does the 'Clear Day' roster play into this? Can he only play on a PTO or does it even matter? Was Eberle listed on that roster over the last couple seasons? My understanding is that we have until June to sign him, correct? I assume this is just a technicality.

Edit: that seems to be a lot of questions... sorry.

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#21 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
March 07 2011, 10:14PM
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VK63 wrote:

Farmers league? Could the Oilers compete in that one? Who we gotta beat? Provost or Sedgewick?

naw, just Killam and Tofield

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#22 James Scott
March 07 2011, 11:23PM
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@lowetide

This is off topic but I just got my season seat renewal and omark,hall,horc,eberle,paarjarvi and habby are featured. No hemsky or penner do you think this is a tell about his future with the club? Maybe his legendary meeting with Katz went more like "Hemmer play your hardest and we will trade you to a desired destination for being a good soldier". It makes me believe they are going to trade him.

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#23 Last Place!
March 07 2011, 11:31PM
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Well I believe that Lander should play in OKC for the remainder of the season. Yet I have this nagging feeling that our friend Anton Lander needs to be playing with big guys as a third line center between Omark and Paajarvi seeing as though 2 swedes can result in something like that I'm 99.9% positive that 3 would be better. As for the 3 scoring lines and a shut down type line, I think we have too much skill now and in the future to be wasted on fighter/we-don't -help -the-team-productively lineso in all fairness our "4th" should be just as skilled as our second. The D is in charge of stopping the momentum of the opposition, the forwards is to score. If we were able to play a fourth type line that competes with teams second or even first lines, the away game factor would never come into play. Now as for the D being too expensive, how much do you think Pecham will be asking for? Not more then what is necessary. I'm not saying we should have 6 Peckhams but I a m saying that is what D do that is supposed to be their primary goal. SHUTDOWN. This is why O believ Teubert was traded for, the organization has BIG plans for him and when he turns out to be that top four (4) d-man, look out because that's what you need for any chance in the playoffs. We need in your face defencemen that get in your head. VENT/RANT.....over.

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#24 oilftw
March 08 2011, 12:32AM
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@justthestatsman

You should watch out for the Castor Raiders, they are the best team ever

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#25 Matt Henderson
March 08 2011, 12:48AM
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Farmer's League?

This year we went Fallow for the opportunity to draft low?

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#26 fuck off
March 08 2011, 12:51AM
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@Cervantes

There's no chance that the Oilers will dump both JFJ and the SMac Down! Although JFJ is a joke of a SMac replacement, there is no way the line up can handle loosing two of their biggest bodies. One has to stay.

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#27 pelhem grenville
March 08 2011, 05:05AM
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...i have consulted next years' copy of the Farmers Almanac...

yup it's sez here it's a good time to bring over new stock from Europe in the summer months but that they can't be castrated until the full moon of October 24... ...the harvest comes next so Lander should be out with that lower body injury til 'bout mid November...after that we'll be ready to roll four good lines...

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#29 jayoilfan
March 08 2011, 07:36AM
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@OilersG and Roughneck,

Killam would totally give them a run, I think Viking, Hardisty or even Amisk would be the ones to beat. I should know, I grew up in Killam. notice my homerism...though the Oil already have a connection to my place of birth, Daysland (Richard Petiot is from there too).

justthestatsman, you do NOT want to play the Castor Raiders, them farmboys sure are some mean sumbitches.

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#30 DBO
March 08 2011, 07:52AM
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I like the idea of Lander in the bigs down the stretch. He isn't on the list for playoff eligible OKC players, so I doubt he goes there and takes time away from someone who will have to play in the playoffs.

Put him with his Swede countrymen in the big show and see what they can do. It won't affect his first year, since I believe you need 20 games at the big league level to burn a year of your entry level contract. Him and MPS will actually play in their own zone, so while Omark is no defensive wizard, they can be the new NHL 3rd line (ala Detroit) who can play in their own zone, but who control the puck and create offense against other teams weaker defensive lines.

?-Gagner-Hemsky Hall-Horcoff-Eberle MPS-Lander-Omark

Funny, but a veteran with size, two way skills and the ability to score 30 goals would look really nice on that top line. sigh.....

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#31 TrentonL
March 08 2011, 08:07AM
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How does bringing players from Europe leagues to AHL work, do they not have to clear waivers like if they are going to big leagues?

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#32 fuck off
March 08 2011, 08:17AM
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The problem with Lander coming to Edmo for the death march is that there are already 4 centers here who are not hurt. Bringing in Lander means him and Fraiser would be swapping 4C rolls from night to night. Not that I mind, but that's the sure fire way to piss Fraiser off.

Would that be a good or bad thing though? hmmm

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#33 Zarf
March 08 2011, 08:46AM
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I think Anton Lander should at least play a little AHL hockey to see how he competes over here.

I dunno - I'm getting this weird Mats-Lindgren-vibe off of the Lander hype. I hope I'm wrong.

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fuck off wrote:

The problem with Lander coming to Edmo for the death march is that there are already 4 centers here who are not hurt. Bringing in Lander means him and Fraiser would be swapping 4C rolls from night to night. Not that I mind, but that's the sure fire way to piss Fraiser off.

Would that be a good or bad thing though? hmmm

Like they said on the radio today, guys are fighting for spots and if Fraser doesn't up his game why should he think he deserves a spot?

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#35 BarryS
March 08 2011, 09:33AM
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seems to me I read somewhere Oilers have to sign Lander by june or they loose him?

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#36 Chris.
March 08 2011, 09:57AM
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James Scott wrote:

@lowetide

This is off topic but I just got my season seat renewal and omark,hall,horc,eberle,paarjarvi and habby are featured. No hemsky or penner do you think this is a tell about his future with the club? Maybe his legendary meeting with Katz went more like "Hemmer play your hardest and we will trade you to a desired destination for being a good soldier". It makes me believe they are going to trade him.

All that tells me is that the copy for the renewall package went to the printers BEFORE the trade deadline.

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#37 Dan the Man
March 08 2011, 10:00AM
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BarryS wrote:

seems to me I read somewhere Oilers have to sign Lander by june or they loose him?

Yeah I don't know if it's true or not but I believe it was Derek Zona of Copper and Blue that tweeted it.

Edit: My mistake, it was from Copper and Blue but it wasn't Zona. Here is the link - http://www.coppernblue.com/2011/3/6/2033976/landers-season-finished

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#38 derrickhands
March 08 2011, 10:11AM
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LT I could be wrong but the reports on Lander was that he had to improve his skating if he was going to compete in the NHL. So were does Bob McKenzie get the idea the Lander had excellent speed. Also from the stats you could say that Lander had a bad year. From having a 60-70% face-off average midway through the season to having a less then 50% average at the end. Then ending with a -13 +/- rating at the end of the year, what happened. You could almost compare his season to Chris Vande Velde. Except Vande Velde always play on the checking line, his face-off % is still around 60-70%. The only difference you could say is their age.

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#39 Horcsky
March 08 2011, 10:21AM
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Matt Henderson wrote:

Farmer's League?

This year we went Fallow for the opportunity to draft low?

Heh heh. Props. Not only did we go Fallow, but we salted the earth to ensure similar results for next season.

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#40 Quicksilver ballet
March 08 2011, 10:38AM
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Kid looks like a whole lot of nothing special, let him walk.

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#41 TigerUnderGlass
March 08 2011, 11:00AM
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@Quicksilver ballet

That's right. We only sign special players here in Edmonton.

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#42 fuck off
March 08 2011, 12:02PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Like they said on the radio today, guys are fighting for spots and if Fraser doesn't up his game why should he think he deserves a spot?

Good call, I hope the brass and Renney feel the same way. Which I believe they do; after they sent the Zack attack packing for OKC I remember Renney or Tambo saying that they wanted competition for jobs. So bring on Lander the Leader!

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#43 freeze
March 08 2011, 12:42PM
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That job competition talk is just lip service; how can JFJ still have a job in the end?!

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#44 NastyNate
March 08 2011, 01:24PM
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@Quicksilver ballet

Being the assistant captain of an SEl team at age 20, the captain of arguably the best team at this years wjc and leading them in points. He was 2 inches from carrying his team into the final. Drafted 40th overall with, 4 professional seasons under his belt. I'd day this kid is special and letting him walk would be a HUGE mistake

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#45 gcw_rocks
March 08 2011, 01:52PM
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Lander is not on the Clear Day roster. He can't play in the AHL this season. Its Edmonton or nothing. Unless he plays for Sweden at the World Championships.

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#46 Last Place!
March 08 2011, 04:29PM
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@TigerUnderGlass lol

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#47 Peterborough
March 09 2011, 12:56AM
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NastyNate wrote:

Being the assistant captain of an SEl team at age 20, the captain of arguably the best team at this years wjc and leading them in points. He was 2 inches from carrying his team into the final. Drafted 40th overall with, 4 professional seasons under his belt. I'd day this kid is special and letting him walk would be a HUGE mistake

Here here. We just drafted this kid. Did you see him at the WJC? The emotion in his face when they lost? This kid hates losing. Lets at least wait till next year before we make him taste a whole lot of it.

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#48 MJE
March 09 2011, 04:46AM
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@Peterborough

He has been playing in Timrå for a couple of years now...he's used to losing.

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#49 Quicksilver ballet
March 09 2011, 10:58AM
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@NastyNate

The Swedish Elite League is over rated. It's the fact that it's been almost two years and he hasn't signed yet that has me thinking he's not worth the hassle. Is he waiting for the Oilers to pencil him in on the third line for a whole year?

The kid should take what's offered, if he's any good, renewel will address his obvious biggest concern.

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