Oilers demote two players, recall three

Jonathan Willis
December 04 2013 03:54PM

The Edmonton Oilers have announced via Twitter a number of roster moves. Recalled are defencemen Corey Potter and Martin Marincin, along with centre Anton Lander. Going to Oklahoma are Denis Grebeshkov and Will Acton.

The General Manager

Craig MacTavish took advantage of the Oilers' trip to Dallas this past weekend to take in some games in Oklahoma City, watching the Barons win on Saturday and then lose on Tuesday night. Corey Potter didn't play in those games, but Martin Marincin and Anton Lander both did and were given the opportunity to impress the G.M. in person.

Based on today's moves, it's fair to say they did. 

The Moves

Up front, the swap of Lander for Acton is fully deserved and has been al ong time coming. Lander perhaps isn't as physical as Acton, but he's a more rounded player at this point - both players offer the Oilers a fourth-line defensive specialist, but Lander's offensive game has come along nicely in the AHL this year and he's at the point where he's a true 200-foot player - in other words, a guy who can legitimately help the team at both ends of the ice as opposed to just in the defensive zone.

Or, to put it another way: Will Acton's best  AHL season saw him put up 19 points. Lander has 15 through 18 games this year. They aren't in the same ballpark offensively, and Lander's posted numbers while being dominant as a defensive forward.

On defence, the swap of Potter for Grebeshkov isn't a big shock either. Potter's been the better player when the two have played together in Oklahoma City; he plays a steadier defensive game than Grebeshkov and moves the puck almost as well.

The addition of Marincin is the only move I wonder about, but if the Oilers want another option on the left side he's more ready for NHL work than Oscar Klefbom or Brad Hunt. Marincin has played better of late, though, and particularly on offence. In October he played eight games, with eight shots, one assist and a minus-two rating; since then he's put up five points, 26 shots and a plus-six rating in 12 contests. 

These are reasonable moves. Two of the trades make the Oilers better right now, and the recall of Marincin rewards a guy on the NHL bubble who has made strides in his game of late. 

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Blucifer Copperballs
December 04 2013, 03:57PM
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Nice. So long Grebs ( you could see in a replay from a goal last night, he hung his head and knew he was going) WELCOME BACK, POTTER! Some fresh blood and LANDO.

just need some Bellyfire now.

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#52 Tikkanese
December 04 2013, 04:16PM
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Wish it was Fedun not Potter but it's still upgrades all around.

Was hoping Lander would get most or all of a season in the AHL to even further help his offensive confidence but oh well. He's surely better than Napolean Dynamite, I mean Will Acton.

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#53 A-Mc
December 04 2013, 04:18PM
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JWillis: Are you actually watching the OKC games, either live or via stream?

If so, can you tell us what the heck is going on with Klefbom? Is he being over hyped? or is he a legitimate option that just hasn't gotten a chance to come up yet?

We'd like to know and with the way you speak of OKC happenings, it suggests you actually attend or watch all their games.

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#54 Blucifer Copperballs
December 04 2013, 04:19PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

That's not the point.

On any other NHL team these guys are injury replacements at best.

However, this is the Oilers.

Fair enough, but this is the Oilers. Almost the whole team plays above where they would on any other NHL team, so that like comparing apples to oranges.

No WAY Petry plays as a top Dman anywhere else. Even Ference is a 3-4 guy, has been all his career, but not here. Everyone is asked to play tougher minutes than they should. And God forbid you have 2 good games winning your 3rd line matchup, then its time to put Ryan Jones on the first line, get blown up, and sent back down to OKC. What other team does that.

This season more than ever, its important for me tostay in the Oilers fishbowl, and try to find the silver linings.

I mean, for crying out loud, i have season tickets.

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#55 Alsker
December 04 2013, 04:19PM
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Wonder if Grebs "retires", gets an envelope of hope and is sent on his way back the KHL. Opens up a much needed roster spot, and a little cap relief.

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#56 Alsker
December 04 2013, 04:22PM
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Bishai in the Benches wrote:

Seems kind of like a recipe for disaster to me. But hey, this is the Oilers we're talking about. Who cares about defenseman development!?! Sign me up for 3 more years of rebuild.

3 more years, does that complete Phase 1 or merely part 2 of Pahase 1?

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#57 pkam
December 04 2013, 04:32PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Nurse, Klefbom, Fedun and Marincin?

Personally I'd run those 4 now if i thought they could handle it and i could afford them proper ice time.

It wont hurt our season any!

If we ice those 4 rookie defensemen for the rest of the year, you can be sure we will get Ekblad this year.

And we can ice 2 more rookie defensemen next year in Nurse and Ekland so we will get McDavid next year.

Look like you are suggesting to start another rebuild.

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#58 Walter Sobchak
December 04 2013, 04:33PM
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Alsker wrote:

3 more years, does that complete Phase 1 or merely part 2 of Pahase 1?

Well, it's all about "progress" don't ya know, or is it the " process " I get those two mixed up all the time!

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#59 camdog
December 04 2013, 04:40PM
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Mact must be coming close to a record for the number of call ups he's made this season. Maybe this one will work, however replacing AHL players with other AHL players, usually isn't that impactful

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#60 hockeycrazed
December 04 2013, 04:43PM
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Honestly, I felt sorry for Fedun, except having any ties with the Brass, he had done everything he's asked by the team, yet he's left out in the cold!! I don't know what to say to you man, just suck it up, it's the cruel cruel world, this is !! Sometimes, it also have to do with luck, you see, just when we thought we don't have to suffer another night with Dubynk in goal; He gets in by default! Seriously, the guy couldn't stop a beach ball!!!!

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#61 John
December 04 2013, 05:15PM
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And here I was hoping they would announce bringing ANYBODY from our coaching staff in Oklahoma up to replace Steve Smith

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#62 Wintoon
December 04 2013, 05:16PM
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Gagner is not playing at anywhere near the 2C level. He can't win a face off, can't play defensively, can't play along the boards and allows the play to die on his stick far too often. If he sits and is replaced by Arcobello it will be very interesting to see what happens. Good to see that Lander appears to have earned a shot.

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#63 ubermiguel
December 04 2013, 05:19PM
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Finally Will Acton goes back down. Hopefully he turns into an NHL player someday, but he's not there yet. Lander and Arco look more like NHL centres than Acton right now.

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#64 Lawndemon
December 04 2013, 05:29PM
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Blucifer Copperballs wrote:

You don't think swapping Potter for Grebs is an upgrade?

It is.

Sure, but it's like upgrading from a kick in the nuts to a kick in the teeth.

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#65 non descript
December 04 2013, 06:20PM
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these roster moves bring to mind a favourite cliche.

however, i do find it encouraging that it only took eakins and old bold moves 23 games to figure out playing fourth line center in the nhl is not the same as playing fourth line center in the ahl.

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#67 Loyal Oil
December 04 2013, 07:05PM
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"Captain this ship has been sinking for eight years" McT: "yes, I know, clearly we need to continue to arrange the deck chairs"

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#68 D-Unit
December 04 2013, 07:31PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

Sounds reasonable, have a bad feeling about that ntc though, its got a sort of Horcoff like feel to it.

Unless it's a legitimate Superstar, I never have a good feeling about NTC or NMC. Gagner did nothing to deserve one and didn't take a discount to get it. Again, Just my opinion.

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#69 Freewheeling Freddie
December 04 2013, 07:39PM
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Hey Daryl you are getting 700 million thanks to Patrick Laforge. If the hockey side was like the business side the Oilers would be a dynasty .Hey Daryl could you throw in a cool 100 million to cover the shortfall of the new Rogers palace?Please

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#70 Arius Mumin
December 04 2013, 07:50PM
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Greg the Hammer Valentine wrote:

Like him or not, Gagner is not the main problem of this team. He is way down the list of things we need to change. Front office, coaching staff, goaltending, the first pair of defense all need a major overhaul.

I did not say the main problem. There is no "down the list", these #@$%ers have to go!

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#71 Alsker
December 04 2013, 08:35PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

We can only dream about a Gagner trade, but at $4.8 million a year, he is untradeable. Sitting him tomorrow night would send a strong message.

A strong message? Really, Quinn putting him on the 4th line helped until injuries moved him up the order and no other coach since has had the balls to do it. Handshake agreement for this year and then a NMC, what message can you send an untouchable?

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#72 **
December 04 2013, 09:02PM
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I would like to see Gagner, Petry and joenssu scratched. I'm glad Acton and Grebeshkov are gone. I hope they stay gone and Lander is finally ready for the big stage. I'm a fan on Marincin and what he can do with his speed and size.

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#73 ValleyviewSports
December 05 2013, 01:44AM
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I think Eakins' presser earlier spoke volumes. Change is gonna have to come from within, the players are gonna have to be be all in soon and we might see Eberle get into another scrum! the dig, the heavylifting, muck...this is stuff that can be learned through sheer will and commitment. IT IS THE ONLY WAY, this group must/will grasp this. even skill guys can fight for the puck sometimes...

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#74 jeremywilhelm
December 05 2013, 03:42AM
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@ValleyviewSports

These are oddly, the exact same comments Brent Sutter used to make about the Flames team while he was head coach. It did not turn out well....

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#75 camdog
December 04 2013, 04:43PM
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Craig1981 wrote:

I wonder about Goalies. Miller is free (I know he most likely won't come to Edmonton but he is there for other teams). Anaheim has Anderson/Faths so Hiller might be free. Scrivens, Harding, Reimer, Mazanec. Are all top 10 in Save% but backups that (besides Harding) have goalies in front of them that aren't going to let them start anytime soon.

Hiller can be had, I don't think Anaheim thinks too highly of him. Word is they may make a pitch for Miller. That said if Anaheim doesn't have much faith in Hillier, then why would we?

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#76 Craig1981
December 04 2013, 04:57PM
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camdog wrote:

Hiller can be had, I don't think Anaheim thinks too highly of him. Word is they may make a pitch for Miller. That said if Anaheim doesn't have much faith in Hillier, then why would we?

Why do you think they don't have faith in Hiller? He was given all the games in the playoffs last year, despite having slightly poorer numbers than Fasth. He has played in the majority of their games this year despite missing time with injury.

I'm not sure what the answer is, I just wonder what the options look like from MacT's eyes. I have always found myself cheering for Reimer even though he is a leaf

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#77 Johnnydapunk
December 04 2013, 05:17PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Yes. The tweet went out that Bryz is now on IR

Cheers for that, makes more sense as to why they brought 3 up. Though that news is not what I would like to hear.

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#78 Truth
December 04 2013, 05:23PM
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At this point the entire team should be relegated. Make them win the Calder cup to be promoted back to the NHL. I honestly don't think they would make it this year.

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#79 madjam
December 04 2013, 05:47PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This won't help.

The perennial rotating door of the AHL players up for some experience . Been here all to often before . They hope they get a couple of good games out of each before they send them back down again . MacT. has nothing better to offer us ? P.S. - it's never seemed to work before ,and I doubt it will have any relevance this time either . The continuing cycle of failure .

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#81 Klima's Mullet
December 04 2013, 05:55PM
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JW

Do you think Marincin is called up in an effort to showcase him as trade bait?

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#82 Rod from Viking
December 04 2013, 06:09PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Your speaking to the choir my boy.

Last year for tickets myself.

Me three

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#83 Johnnydapunk
December 04 2013, 06:34PM
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camdog wrote:

Hiller can be had, I don't think Anaheim thinks too highly of him. Word is they may make a pitch for Miller. That said if Anaheim doesn't have much faith in Hillier, then why would we?

I don't know if it is an issue of Anaheim not having faith in Hiller, it's more to do with Fasth being signed for next year at a relatively cap friendly price (2.9 mill) and Andersen being signed for the next two years at an equally good price for a young backup (1.15 mill ish)

I don't think they expected Anderson or Fasth to be as decent as they have been and as a result have made Hiller expendable.

Hiller still has some good years left in him, but he is making 4.5 mill a year so I don't think he would get anything less than 5 mill on the open market.

Looking at the current RFA and UFA listings for 2014, there are a lot of goalies that may potentially be finding new homes next season. Hope the Oil can find at least 2 decent ones willing to come here.

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#84 The Last Big Bear
December 04 2013, 07:56PM
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Lander is one of those guys that I'd see on the ice, and say "Holy Harvey Hound, that kid is good", and then I'd look at his box scores and be shocked. He just LOOKS like an excellent player, and I will be the least surprised person in the world if he becomes a contributor in the NHL.

The Oilers have some solid prospects on defence, but for the most part they are very young. I think calling up Marincin is mostly just trying to get an early look. Season's over anyways, may as well start looking to the future.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Klefblom up by the end of the season too. Although if I were an Oilers fan I'd prefer to wait and bring him up when the team is doing a bit better, so his cup of coffee tastes like winning instead of the bitter dregs of 30th place.

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#85 Greg
December 04 2013, 08:39PM
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at this point i'm starting to feel bad for even the players on this team. year over year this organization tries to push players into roles that their not cut out for. sure the oilers have seen their share of crappy hockey players, but... who brought them here? we've all run perfectly good hockey players out of town because we've slotted them one pairing higer, one line higher... after Pronger left town we have seriously lacked that star power that takes the load off secondary players. instead we took a guy like tom gilbert and tried to force him to become a top defence man. and we're doing the same with Petry right now. the guy is absolutely falling apart right now. i feel if you want players to develop you need to have someone they can develop under. right now they don't have that. Ryan Smyth. No. Ales Hemsky. No. i'm sorry, but from what i've seen, the are horrible leaders. i feel bad for andrew ferrence. he's a solid d-man. just not one that leads the charge. and because he's not cut out to do so, he's getting carved up over it. get some blue chip talent in here to start running this team.

the sad fact is i believe, that players that know the league, and are good, don't want anything to do with teams like the oilers. seriously they're a joke right now, and have been for 8 yrs. when you make winning your mandate why would you come to a team that has found every possible way to loose.

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#86 Shooter
December 04 2013, 08:44PM
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A forever Oiler fan here and I couldn't be more disgusted with the state of this organization. The downward spiral started 13 years ago when Lowe became GM. He was a horrible GM so what did they do? They promoted him to President where he has continued to shape this team into what it is today… the laughing stock of the NHL. He had 13 years to prove himself and he did. He proved he doesn't know what he's doing.

New Rule: I'm not spending another dime on this team until Lowe is gone.

You guys can talk about this player and that player all you want but a move here and a move there doesn't even get them close to being out of the hole they are in. They are at the limit of the salary cap with this line up? Unreal. It could be years before they make the playoffs and as long as Lowe is in charge I don't know that they ever will.

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#87 Ed in Edmonton
December 04 2013, 09:05PM
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Alsker wrote:

A strong message? Really, Quinn putting him on the 4th line helped until injuries moved him up the order and no other coach since has had the balls to do it. Handshake agreement for this year and then a NMC, what message can you send an untouchable?

The message might be that one of the anointed "stars" on this team can be held accountable for their performance. With guaranteed contracts not much else a coach can do.

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#88 Dog Train
December 04 2013, 09:30PM
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Lander has certainly earned this call-up and I'm hoping that he kicks the door down and shows he deserves a spot in the show. I am looking forward to seeing Marincin even if it is likely only for a cup of coffee at this point in time. Corey Potter is meh but at least he's better than Garbagekov.

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#89 dougtheslug
December 04 2013, 10:18PM
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How Kevin Lowe, MacT, and the pro scouting staff could not see that Grebber is NOT an NHL dman is an indictment of them all.

Watching Calgary dismantle the same Phoenix team that blew us off the ice makes me sick to my stomach.

What an embarrassment this whole organization is. Why don't the fans declare a general strike and refuse to watch this crap.

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#90 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
December 04 2013, 10:45PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Nurse, Klefbom, Fedun and Marincin?

Personally I'd run those 4 now if i thought they could handle it and i could afford them proper ice time.

It wont hurt our season any!

WOnt hurt this year at all. it will however put a huge dent in the development of Nurse Kefblom and marincin. I don't think Fedun will be all that much.

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#91 justthestatsman
December 04 2013, 11:10PM
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@dougtheslug

Phoenix obviously had an excuse. They were exhausted from taking so many wide open shots right in front of the net last night...

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#92 2004Z06
December 05 2013, 02:28PM
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Please explain how you can sit Gagner? Boyd Gordon is injured I believe. Who is your 4th center if Acton has been sent down?

As much as I think Gagner needs to sit/be moved to the wing/be traded, he isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

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