Oilers release training camp roster; looking for enforcer

Jonathan Willis
September 11 2013 09:31AM

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The Oilers main camp starts today, and the team released its roster via Twitter this morning. There aren’t any major shocks, but there are a few names Oilers fans might not recognize.

Changes Coming?

The list the Oilers put out today is likely missing an ingredient if Bob McKenzie can be believed (and can't he always be believed?). The list above doesn't include an obvious candidate for the heavyweight role outside of maybe Ty Bilcke; ergo he will likely need to come from outside the organization via signing, trade or waivers (which is how the Oilers landed Steve MacIntyre a few years back). 

Under The Radar

Ty Bilcke. The 19-year-old is a little young for his chosen role at the professional level, but his OHL stats line from last season leaves no doubt as to what it will be. In 46 games with Windsor, the right wing recorded zero goals, one assist and 76 penalty minutes (down significantly from his five-point, 221-penalty minute season the year before). 

Matt Ford. A 28-year-old right wing, Ford signed an AHL deal with Oklahoma City over the summer. He has decent size and has mostly been a secondary scorer in the high minors the last few years.

Austin Fyten. Fyten is a second-year professional who spent last season playing mostly with the Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL, where he came in just under the point-per-game mark. He has decent size, plays a gritty game and can score a bit and might be a candidate for a minor-league job.

Joey Leach. An unsigned Calgary Flames draft pick (73rd overall, 2010), Leach is graduating to the professional ranks after a decent WHL career. He brings size and some scoring ability on the blue line.

Derek Nesbitt. Another minor-league journeyman. Nesbitt turned 31 in April and has signed on to play with the Barons. In the last three seasons he’s posted between 42 and 55 points, and he’ll add some experience and auxiliary scoring to a Barons roster light on serious forward prospects.

Reid Petryk. An undrafted Edmontonian who played with Everett (WHL) last year, Petryk’s offensive numbers in junior have been underwhelming (he topped out at 40 points). By most accounts Petryk’s a defensive forward who plays with a bit of grit; he’s hoping to land a pro contract after playing two games in the AHL last year when his junior career season ended. (As pointed out in our comments section, Petryk still has another year of junior eligibility.)

Ty Rimmer. Another undrafted Edmonton native, Rimmer posted a 0.912 save percentage in 65 games with Lethbridge (WHL) last season, and ran up a 0.922 save percentage with the Tri-City Americans the year before. He looked good in half an hour in the game between the Oilers’ rookies and the University of Alberta Golden Bears, and might round out a minor-league depth chart that includes Richard Bachman, Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz in net.

C.J. Stretch. The 24-year-old centre worked his way up from the ECHL and on to the Barons last season, and adds a bit of internal competition for players like Ryan Martindale and Travis Ewanyk.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#101 Batfink
September 11 2013, 04:24PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

That arguement doesn't even make any sence. What you're saying is that you're in agreement with fighting but not an enforcer. That dirty play only exists in major junior and not the NHL because it is elite and somehow excempt from the need of an enforcer. On the contrary, it is the roughest league and toughest most dirty brand of slashing, hits and elbows at the highest level. You're saying anyone who agrees that that assessment because they play hockey only plays in the beer leagues and looks stupid. Your brand of enforcerless "smart guy" hockey leads to dirty hits, slashing, hitting from behind and taking a run at a guy with your so called "checking line" tactics which you so wisely assert. Well, basically, pussy hockey, where you play dirty and then hide behind your coach on the bench or in suspension. But that assessment by hockey players is just "stupid", because you are so much smarter than everybody else.

I agree. Ask people of a certain age and they will tell you Gordie Howe was the dirtiest SOB going. But, he could back it up too....

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#102 WhattaMike
September 11 2013, 04:34PM
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About enforcers...

I never minded two heavyweights fighting each other during games (ex; Larocue vs Boogaard...or.. MacIntyre vs Ivanans, etc), but what gets me not liking it (an not having revenge) is when watching jerk-off guys like Avery or Cooke do something vicious to a player (like Avery did to Smid in NY) and the Oilers are forced to allow him off the hook because.... the refs won't let anything honorable happen or the refs kick in the stupid instigator rule to give the honorable player a 2 minute penalty/and a 5 min penalty/and a game misconduct...or... the Oilers tough guy can only be allowed to fight the other heavyweight.

This does not stop the dirty players out there from keep doing it cause they dont get beaten or bloodied nor properly penalized...nor... does it show the other team that the Oilers mean to go for blood (Expression).

Once the stupid rule is gone and the players being dirty start paying for their actions then the game will be better off...like it was when Semenko, Dave Brown, McSorley, McClelland Laroque (early years) patrolled the game for the Oiler stars to stay healthy and perform best.

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#103 michael
September 11 2013, 05:26PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Even in that worst case scenario where the guy is such a coward he won't fight. What is better a seven minute penalty or seven months without a kid because of injury.

Protect this house and the kids that live here. Enough of being the softest team in the NHL.

The Oilers make marshmellows seem tough. We get no respect. Our team is so soft that Royal Scotties mascot is calling us out. Were so soft that the Makers of Colace want the Oilers to endorse their product. The toughest part of our team is the Octane girls. At least they get some respect.

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#104 Wonger
September 11 2013, 06:44PM
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sssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....get MIKE MCKEE from the wings organization.............sshhhhhhh...!!!!!!!!

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#105 wiseguy
September 11 2013, 06:49PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

So let me propose a scenario using the Detroit model.

Player A cheap shots Henrik Zetterberg and concusses him. Player A receives a game misconduct and subsequent 5 game suspension (first offense). Detroit scores 2 on the 5 min PP and wins the game.

Meanwhile they lose the next several of their games because their star player is out for 6 months due to post concussion symptoms.

Meanwhile player A misses the 5 games and is back on the ice.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Now this hasn't happened in Detroit.... yet!

If league enforcement isn't sufficient, then prevention is the only other option. AKA an enforcing deterrent.

So let me propose a scenario using your model:

Player A cheap shots Henrik Zetterberg and concusses him. Your goon jumps him and giives him a couple of cuts and scrapes. Player A receives a game misconduct and subsequent 5 game suspension (first offense). Detroit scores 2 on the 5 min PP and wins the game.

Meanwhile they lose the next several of their games because their star player is out for 6 months due to post concussion symptoms. Your goon is suspended for 5 games as is Player A.

How is this any different than the original scenario?

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#106 Copper
September 11 2013, 07:03PM
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No we do not need a goon. We need players who can play hockey. Let the other team put a goon on the ice. Then send out our skill. And skate round him. Laroque was goon but, couldn't play and was no enforcer. He was only a fighter. His "code" prevented him from protecting his teammates and "enforcing" calmer play. He would only fight the other teams "heavyweight" and only if they agreed to go.

A goon is a waste of roster spot and cap space.

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#107 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 11 2013, 09:52PM
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pkam wrote:

If I remember correctly, Steve Macintyre was an Oilers in 2010-11. The question is why we only played him 34 games that year and less than 2 minutes a game when we dress him?

Also, why did Hall have to fight Derek Dorsett and finished his season early with an injury? I thought there should be no one dare to touch our young players, right?

With the instigating rule, the heavyweight is as effective as a scarecrow, but it takes up one of your 23 roster spot. How do you stop the other team from taking liberty with our young players and refusing to fight our heavyweight?

How?...... you pound the p*ss out of their star player (or at least rub him out against the boards) forcing the other teams enforcer to have to step up.....that's how!

(And there are other ways...that you and your kind don't discuss at your fancy dinner parties...and while I may appear grotesque to you and my very presence may repulse you...deep down inside ...you want me on that wall...you need me on that wall!!)

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#108 kawi460
September 11 2013, 09:58PM
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I don't think they will add just a fighter/enforcer. I think they are looking for a big physical winger that can skate and drop the mitts. Maroon could fit the bill.

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#109 oilerjed
September 11 2013, 10:01PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

That arguement doesn't even make any sence. What you're saying is that you're in agreement with fighting but not an enforcer. That dirty play only exists in major junior and not the NHL because it is elite and somehow excempt from the need of an enforcer. On the contrary, it is the roughest league and toughest most dirty brand of slashing, hits and elbows at the highest level. You're saying anyone who agrees that that assessment because they play hockey only plays in the beer leagues and looks stupid. Your brand of enforcerless "smart guy" hockey leads to dirty hits, slashing, hitting from behind and taking a run at a guy with your so called "checking line" tactics which you so wisely assert. Well, basically, pussy hockey, where you play dirty and then hide behind your coach on the bench or in suspension. But that assessment by hockey players is just "stupid", because you are so much smarter than everybody else.

To be clear, I don't think your stupid, I respect your opinion, I just don't agree. I dont like dirty hockey, and I think junior is the way it is because it is made up of young guys trying to make a rep. Its still great hockey but its not pro. yes there is dirty plays in the nhl because their will always be a$$holes. My point is that when someone takes a run at somebody its up to the other five guys on the ice to handle it then and there. Not trotting out your ox 3 shifts later to beat on their ox.

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#110 Wonger
September 12 2013, 09:12AM
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STRUDWICK was a great team guy better D man than he was ever given credit for and a VERY TOUGH GOOD FIGHTER who always stood up for his teammates!

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#111 Wäx Män Riley
September 12 2013, 09:42AM
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Wonger wrote:

It will be very evident in the split squad games this Saturday against Calgry how badly the Oilers need a top level enforcer to complement the excellent middlewight Mike Brown and equally excellent light heavyweight Benjamin Eager! McGrattan, Jackman and O'Brien will make this obvious. The Oilers best heavyweight (not an Oiler cause he has an AHL contract in OKC) was not even invited to camp. He has fought MacIntyre before and would fight McGrattan in a second. Also, why not give HORDI a tryout. Great team guy! FEARLESSS!!!!!

Enforcers that can't play NHL hockey should not be in the NHL

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#112 Wonger
September 12 2013, 10:29AM
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@Wäx Män Riley

Tell all of the other teams in our division this!!!

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#113 Mike Modano's Dog
September 13 2013, 12:25AM
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Still wish we would have plucked Frazier MacLaren off waivers last year - for free. Best young fighter, that can play, in the game today!

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#114 Aleks
September 14 2013, 08:07PM
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A + 96 is now # 82. Calgary won't stand a chance starting with this no signing.

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