TRAINING CAMP AND LINEUPS...

Jason Gregor
September 16 2013 02:30PM

 

You know hockey season is back, when many are wondering about the status of Corey Potter. Potter is nursing a back injury and that's why he didn't play on Saturday and wasn't on the ice today.

Potter's injury couldn't have come at a worse time for him, because there is lot of competition for the #6, #7 and even #8 spot on the Oilers blueline.

It is obvious that Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference, Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry and Nick Schultz will make the team. Denis Grebeshkov has the inside track on the sixth slot, while recently-arrived Anton Belov, Philip Larsen, Oscar Klefbom, Taylor Fedun, Brandon Davidson and Corey Potter are battling for the final two spots.

Klefbom and Davidson won't be sitting in the pressbox as the 7th D-man, so they will likely start the season in OKC. Fedun has only played one year of pro hockey, so I'd expect he'll be going down as well.

Belov has a two-way contract, $1.5 million in the NHL, and $70,000 in the AHL, and that plus his late arrival to camp could see him starting in the minors.

If Potter can't get on the ice, then he'll start on the IR, while Larsen and Grebeshkov will battle for the 6th spot. If Potter isn't ready to start the season, that means three of last year's seven D-men won't be on the team. Ryan Whitney is on a tryout in St.Louis, Mark Fistric is in Anaheim and Potter would be on the sidelines. Theo Peckham only played four games last year, but if you include him, then half of their eight D-men are gone.

To be fair none of them played regularly in the top-four, but it is still a significant, and necessary, change over on the blueline.

As the preseason continues in Winnipeg tomorrow and Vancouver on Wednesday, the most intriguing aspect to watch about the blueline is how they are adapting to Dallas Eakins' swarm defence.

The Oilers have two morning practices this morning. These players were on for the first session, and there were whispers they will be playing in Winnipeg on Tuesday, but that isn't 100% confirmed just yet.

Potential Lineup for Winnipeg:

Jones-Gagner-Omark
Joensuu-Lander-Pitlick
Hamilton-Arcobello-Yakupov
Moroz-Martindale-Abney

Smid-Petry
Grebeshkov-Klefbom
Larsen-Davidson

LaBarbera
Bachman

  • Denis Grebeshkov looked good in the first 25 games on Saturday, but he struggled after that. His conditioning needs to improve, it isn't awful by any stretch, but a great way to improve it is to play right away. The best way to get in game shape is to play games.
     
  • Davidson looked very good on Saturday. He'll need more seasoning in the AHL, but right now I'd rank him far ahead of David Musil and Martin Gernat. He's quicker than Musil, and he's more dedicated off the ice than Gernat. It is hard not to cheer for Davidson after his battle with testicular cancer.
     
  • Lander needs to get quicker. I like most aspects of his game, but he isn't any quicker than he was last year. He needs to get a half step quicker to become an impactful NHL player.
     
  • Eakins' practices are much more intense than I've seen in years. Lots of skating, one-on-one battles and very quick-paced.
     
  • I don't mind Eakins changing the decor and pictures inside the Oilers dressing room, because it was time to turn the page. This team needs things to change, and if a new coat of paint and some new pictures on the wall can make the Oilers feel more like a team, then great. To me it shows that Eakins is a "Doer." Rather than just talk about things, he does things. I think it is a good change of leadership.

POTENTIAL LINEUP FOR CANUCKS...

Smyth-Hall-Eberle
Perron-Gordon-Hemsky
Eager-Acton-Brown
Khaira-RNH-Miller

*RNH will not be playing of course.***

Ference-J.Schultz
Belov-Fedun
Nurse-N.Schultz
Marincin-Hunt

Dubnyk
Rimmer

  • The Oilers announced another round of cuts, none of which were a surprise. The following players were assigned to the AHL.
     
  • Goalies Bunz  and Roy.
     
  • Forwards Ewanyk, Ford, Fyten, Nesbitt  and  Stretch.
     
  • D-men Gernat, Musil and Leach.
     
  • The Oilers need a young goalie of the future, because Bunz and Roy are a long way, if ever, from playing in the NHL.
     
  • It will be interesting to see if Ewanyk stays in OKC, or possibly gets sent back to junior to play with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
     
  • Musil needs to get quicker, and Gernat needs to be more dedicated in the off-season if he plans on ever taking a run at an NHL job.
     
  • I'm not a fan of the NHL's decision to ban players from tucking in their jerseys. This is not a safety issue, it is a potential money issue. The only reason they decided to do this was to open a spot for potential adverstising on jerseys. Either way, I'm not a fan of it. 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#1 wheelz
September 16 2013, 05:05PM
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Oil brass must know they'd get their ass kicked either way so might as well send their B team to the 'peg to soften the blow and have an excuse.

Smart move MacT.

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#2 ColourMeImpressed
September 16 2013, 02:48PM
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@TonyT

I imagine he'd have to do at least basic physicals. Nobody wants a Cherepanov on their hands.

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#4 master of my domain
September 16 2013, 04:19PM
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Numenius wrote:

I sure hope they don't put more advertising on the jerseys. The Europeans look like a bunch of undignified clowns when they do that, not to mention corporate shills.

though I agree with you (I did prop you),I'd rather a few ads on the jerseys than have ticket prices go up again. but the greedy bastards would probably do both anyways.

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#5 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 16 2013, 06:33PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Maybe you haven't heard it because others don't look for stories. He didn't improve his strength in the off-season. Pretty simple. He is a long-shot at best to ever play, so many don't cover him. I saw him in the room and asked someone about it. I'll take their word combined with my own eyes and that is where the opinion comes from. Pretty simple.

News flash, they are competing against one another. They won't all make it and you need a depth chart. I'd be surprised if Gernat plays a game for the Oilers. Doesn't mean he is a bad kid, but looking at the depth chart and how Davidson has improved a lot, while Gernat hasn't makes it easier.

Factor in Klefbom and Nurse he is even farther down.

It's pretty simple when you are around the room to see players.

I read about the Oilers obsessively. I may have missed the deluge of stories about Gernat dogging it this summer but a quick google search suggests there aren't any.

There are a lot of reports commenting on his slight frame. There have been since he was drafted and before that. Some people have trouble putting on weight (others have trouble losing it :) ha!). That may indeed hold him back.

But there is a grand canyon sized difference between "struggling to put on weight" and "not dedicated." One is simply an empirical description the other points to a character flaw and a causal relation: you didn't try therefore you are in this state.

Add to that, all the reports we have of him suggest someone who is showing EXCEPTIONALLY well for a 5th round draft pick 2 years out. Here's a recent sampling of people covering him and discussing his actual play:

http://jetsnation.ca/2013/9/6/young-stars-tournament-day-one-oilers-disorganized

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/16/edmonton-oilers-assigned-musil-gernat-and-ewanyk-to-oklahoma-city-barons/

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/08/26/martin-gernat-has-a-realistic-chance-to-make-the-edmonton-oilers-but-not-this-season/

I'd very much like to hear who is saying he's been dogging it. Very much.

I don't think he deserves this kind of write-up.

Also, obviously they are competing against one another for spots. That goes without saying. I still think there is a fairer way to describe the reality of that competition.

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#7 LoweBlow
September 16 2013, 05:08PM
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ColourMeImpressed wrote:

why is Potter injured?

Because you touch yourself at night....

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#9 Rocket
September 16 2013, 09:46PM
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@Batfink

I remember a while (years?) ago when guys like Quick,Wes,Madjam,Spyder and others long time posters were actually quite positive and optimistic about The Oilers. Even DSF was less cagey.

But that's what cheering for this team does to you. It grinds you down until you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel and I can hardly blame them for pointing out again & again the spectacular ineptitude of The Oilers management.

I wonder when I'll start to be a Debbie Downer too? This season is really make or break for me in that regard.

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#10 @Oilanderp
September 16 2013, 03:01PM
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After apparently playing more than 25 games on Saturday past, how else did you expect Grebs to look?

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#11 HardBoiledOil
September 16 2013, 03:35PM
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Damn skippy, Jason, that the Oilers need a young goalie of the future which is why i'm pizzed off the Oilers have not taken a goalie in the last two drafts. if they even suspected the Canadiens were going to pull the rug from under them at take a goalie they probably don't need, but the Oilers apparently wanted badly in Zack Fucale, they should have tried harder to separate Chicago's #30 pick or tried to swap with Buffalo, who were sandwiched in between the Habs picks at #35.hell, Eric Comrie and Spence Martin were still available at #57, but the Oilers traded down.

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#12 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 16 2013, 03:43PM
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"Davidson looked very good on Saturday. He'll need more seasoning in the AHL, but right now I'd rank him far ahead of David Musil and Martin Gernat. He's quicker than Musil, and he's more dedicated off the ice than Gernat. It is hard not to cheer for Davidson after his battle with testicular cancer."

"Musil needs to get quicker, and Gernat needs to be more dedicated in the off-season if he plans on ever taking a run at an NHL job."

I completely agree with your assessment here that Davidson is ahead of Musil and Gernat. His battle from 6th rounder to legit emerging prospect is a great storyline in its own right. Add in cancer and the we're in Hollywood land.

BUT....

He also SHOULD be ahead of Musil and Gernat. He's had a full year of pro hockey and is a year older.

Musil's speed is a real issue. It was noted on draft day and his scouting reports remain all over the map. Either he plays 600 NHL games or 0 it would seem. He's hard to peg, but it would be nice to see him further along for his draft pedigree.

Gernat, a late rounder like Davidson, is in tough just to emerge as a legit prospect. The fact that he hasn't fallen off the earth 2 years after being picked in the 5th round is fantastic. The fact that he's showing so well is very, very impressive.

I don't see any reason to peg these players against one another like this. Nor have I read anything to suggest Gernat lacks off-season dedication. I think you are going to have to back this one up.

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#13 Geoff
September 16 2013, 05:42PM
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Eberle looks so stoned in that picture it isn't even funny lol.

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#14 Crackenbury
September 16 2013, 09:18PM
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I for one don't want to see this sight become another Sportsnet where every columnist is questioned by commenters who feel it is their duty to do so. I feel for Spector every time he writes anything on that site.

Ask questions, disagree, state your opinion then get over it if you don't get the answer you want and move on to the next article. Save the rest of us from having to read all about it.

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#15 madjam
September 17 2013, 07:39AM
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Each year there seems to be someone that sticks out above the rest not currently on parent club or expected to make this years squad . Nurse looks like that player this year ,if last game was any indicator . Most of others are not living up to their hype . We'll soon see if Belov can . We are noticeably not a very physical looking team once again . Being this way has not helped us in the past and I doubt into the future .

Got this gut feeling Oilers might trade Eberle for a young strong centerman .

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#16 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 16 2013, 02:40PM
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I'm a little disappointed that I won't get to see my favourite players tomorrow night.

It will be nice to finally see Klefbom in person, though!

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#17 Numenius
September 16 2013, 03:42PM
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I sure hope they don't put more advertising on the jerseys. The Europeans look like a bunch of undignified clowns when they do that, not to mention corporate shills.

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#18 Ducey
September 16 2013, 04:32PM
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"Do-er"? I never even met her!

Sorry.

That is a pretty thin Winni lineup - only about 6 guys that are for sures once camp breaks.

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#19 gr8one
September 16 2013, 04:53PM
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It is eerie to me at how much Taylor Hall looks like Jo from Facts of life in the above photoshop pic.

http://onceuponagaynerd.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/jo.jpg

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#20 nunyour
September 16 2013, 06:26PM
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I'm worried about our toughness,i think Brown will be overwhelmed.

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#21 clyde
September 16 2013, 07:38PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Which teams in the West have loads of toughness?

LA, Anaheim, Colorado, Minny, St. Louis and even Vancouver and Calgary can trot out some pretty tough lineups

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#22 Batfink
September 16 2013, 09:34PM
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Crackenbury wrote:

I for one don't want to see this sight become another Sportsnet where every columnist is questioned by commenters who feel it is their duty to do so. I feel for Spector every time he writes anything on that site.

Ask questions, disagree, state your opinion then get over it if you don't get the answer you want and move on to the next article. Save the rest of us from having to read all about it.

Wrong. Dead Wrong. It separates journalistic integrity from artistic license. "I saw him in the dressing room, and asked someone about it." Who did he ask? He has the ability now to take one look at a player and sum up a summer's conditioning? I find it hard to believe anybody in the dressing room, other than the GM or Head Coach, would be that unprofessional about a colleague as to quote on the physical condition of a fellow player.

But, to err is human, to forgive divine. Let's just all get back to hating the Flames and Canucks and remember the first televised game is tomorrow and we're all on the same team. Except DSF and the jury is out on QSB.

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#23 stevezie
September 16 2013, 02:39PM
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Hey Jason, how is Eakins handling Belov? Is he going through all the fitness tests, catching up on everything he missed? Or is he just getting thrown in as if he was here all along? Has Eakins had a chance to comment on his missed time? I agree with LT and Spec that missing a few days won't impact that much for a 26 byear-old pro; I'm just wondering how the coaches are handling it.

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#24 ColourMeImpressed
September 16 2013, 02:42PM
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why is Potter injured?

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#25 TonyT
September 16 2013, 02:43PM
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If a player comes to camp late (like Belov) for whatever reason, how far behind are they in terms camp participation. Does he take a day for physicals, etc.? Or bypass that and jump right in to drills?

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#26 Will
September 16 2013, 04:44PM
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Although we don't have that top two guy, at least we won't have to suffer because of the bottom 3. I think we have enough depth that we can at least roll three solid, if not tremendous lines of D.

I don't disagree with the Davidson thing, and you certainly have to root for him, but he did not look good at the Bears game. I understand that is a very small sample size, but e could not handle a pass at the point. The oiler rookies didn't have control in the offensive zone very much that game, and at least twice these opportunities were lost because Davidson couldn't take a pass. He did look physically solid though.

As for Musil, I kept having a hard time telling him apart from Mrincin. They both need to work on their skating. It was so bad at times, that I couldn't help thinking that if I just kept playing hockey while growing up, I too could be drafted by the NHL.

Finally, I am curious to hear more about this swarm defence? Namely, are there other teams in the NHL that use this to great effect. I certainly note there are times, especially against Detroit and Vancouver, where it seems like everytime someone has the puck, there's like 7 players on them. I don't understand how some teams can make it so difficult for the Oilers, while thye cannot seem to do the same.

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#30 madjam
September 16 2013, 07:31PM
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How about taking a poll on all those that would or would not mind seeing advertising on jerseys . All fans should send a message to league to not adopt advertising on sweaters .

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#31 Alsker
September 16 2013, 09:44PM
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ColourMeImpressed wrote:

why is Potter injured?

I cant resist, no ill will intended BUT lets see, he slipped in the shower, was helping a friend move, tried position #27, didnt want to be bag skated again, was trying to give Grebs a shot @ the big team, who F"ing knows, BUT love your question...not sure if its the multiple pints of Bud or the pint of Capt. M. that still has me rolling on the floor, cheeers!!

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#32 Alsker
September 16 2013, 09:53PM
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Rocket wrote:

I remember a while (years?) ago when guys like Quick,Wes,Madjam,Spyder and others long time posters were actually quite positive and optimistic about The Oilers. Even DSF was less cagey.

But that's what cheering for this team does to you. It grinds you down until you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel and I can hardly blame them for pointing out again & again the spectacular ineptitude of The Oilers management.

I wonder when I'll start to be a Debbie Downer too? This season is really make or break for me in that regard.

There was even a time when QSB(prior to his dark knight look) was so positive it was almost hard to read, I fear I too will be afflicted by this DD syndrome.

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#33 Spydyr
September 17 2013, 08:34AM
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Alsker wrote:

There was even a time when QSB(prior to his dark knight look) was so positive it was almost hard to read, I fear I too will be afflicted by this DD syndrome.

It has been hard to watch since 2006 that is a long time outside the playoffs. Then hearing every year we have a new coach this is the year we make the playoffs.

It is hard to believe the spin year after year.

This year the kids are another year older but many holes remain.

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#34 Ivan Drago
September 16 2013, 02:42PM
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I'm curious as to how Abney has survived the cuts so far. For that matter same with Moroz and Martindale. Is it just to give them exposure? Imo it makes sense to cut these barely fringe players asap, so the players with better odds of making it, and the vets as well, can be as sharp as possible opening night.

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#35 Dog Train
September 16 2013, 03:05PM
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I think the one thing that can be observed from line combinations at this point in time is who the coaching staff thinks can make the roster right out of camp. Clearly, guys like Ryan Hamilton and Arcobello are getting opportunities to show that they belong on the opening day roster. A guy like Andrew Miller seems to be out of the running (which he should be based on what I've seen) for a roster spot at this point.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Belov play. I'm not a huge Grebeshkov fan and I think Klefbom and the other young pros need to start the season in the minors. Potter is no more than a fallback plan and I need to see more of Larsen to really have an opinion on him. All I know is that Belov is a big body who by all accounts could be a big asset if he can adjust to the North American game. Hopefully missing the start of training camp hasn't completely derailed his hopes of starting the year with the big club.

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#36 Czar
September 16 2013, 03:17PM
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I think they give Kessy a look in the Canucks game then send him to OKC Thursday.

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#37 madjam
September 16 2013, 04:49PM
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Seems like a weak team being sent to Winnipeg , while most of main squad sent to Canucks for televised game .

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#38 madjam
September 16 2013, 04:54PM
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Hope league does not change uniforms to those advertized like soccer - where your not sure even what club they are . Nike vs. Reebox , or Telus vs. Bell . or Cherry Clown Suit vs. Orr . .

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#39 jake
September 16 2013, 06:08PM
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madjam wrote:

Hope league does not change uniforms to those advertized like soccer - where your not sure even what club they are . Nike vs. Reebox , or Telus vs. Bell . or Cherry Clown Suit vs. Orr . .

I can see the advertising on the jersey comming. People wanted hockey, NHL caved to the players in December-January, added a bunch of money to make the players whole. They propped up Phoenix and who knows how many other teams, for years. Now they will turn to selling their hockey souls to increase HRR any way they can to pay for all the silliness. 5 outdoor games (seriously? five?), jersey advertising...etc etc.....here we go. Rant done.

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#41 Oilergasm
September 16 2013, 10:27PM
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@jake

The biggest reason I hope that they don't do jersey advertising is that I would feel bad for the Coyotes, who would sponsor them?

Tonights Matchup: New York "Samsung" Rangers vs. Phoenix "Jim's Used Car Emporium" Coyotes.

Although the "OodleNoodle Oilers" has a good ring to it.

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#42 Jon
September 17 2013, 09:52AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I read about the Oilers obsessively. I may have missed the deluge of stories about Gernat dogging it this summer but a quick google search suggests there aren't any.

There are a lot of reports commenting on his slight frame. There have been since he was drafted and before that. Some people have trouble putting on weight (others have trouble losing it :) ha!). That may indeed hold him back.

But there is a grand canyon sized difference between "struggling to put on weight" and "not dedicated." One is simply an empirical description the other points to a character flaw and a causal relation: you didn't try therefore you are in this state.

Add to that, all the reports we have of him suggest someone who is showing EXCEPTIONALLY well for a 5th round draft pick 2 years out. Here's a recent sampling of people covering him and discussing his actual play:

http://jetsnation.ca/2013/9/6/young-stars-tournament-day-one-oilers-disorganized

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/16/edmonton-oilers-assigned-musil-gernat-and-ewanyk-to-oklahoma-city-barons/

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/08/26/martin-gernat-has-a-realistic-chance-to-make-the-edmonton-oilers-but-not-this-season/

I'd very much like to hear who is saying he's been dogging it. Very much.

I don't think he deserves this kind of write-up.

Also, obviously they are competing against one another for spots. That goes without saying. I still think there is a fairer way to describe the reality of that competition.

I don't think anyone said he's been dogging it, but based on reading between the lines, I'd say he's not as dedicated as he can be. Which is all Gregor was trying to say I'm pretty sure, not that he's going to bust for sure.

Gernat and Marincin has been put on a special diet mandated by the Oilers for him to gain weight. That's a fact, I'm reading between the lines here and seeing that Gernat didn't seek this on his own and the Oilers did it for him instead, he might be a guy that could be more dedicated to the off season process.

Now, Gregor doesn't need to read between lines, he sees the guy in the dressing room, and if a guy looks like he hasn't gained weight in 2 years, well let's call it as it is, it's likely he prooobably could have spent some more time in the weight room. And I'll add I'm pretty sure that's all he's trying to say, not that he's going to for sure end up a bust, so the rest of this is just my thoughts.

Secondly, whenever I see this guy at training camp and the few Oil kings games I watch a year, I don't see a heck of a lot of defensive development. I see tons of offensive game to this guy, but every time I see him I hope to see a jump up in his level of defensive play but I never see it.

I sense a guy that isn't dedicated to working on his weaknesses. He's always flying around the ice offensively but that's been a strength since day 1 with this kid. In 2 years, I haven't seen any substantial improvement on his weaknesses; his defensive game and weight. That means nothing concrete in the long run, he could develop by miles once he hits the AHL who knows; and kudos for a 5th rounder for getting this far. But if you made me pick NHL player or non-NHL player, I know which way I'd swing.

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#43 Bill
September 17 2013, 09:56AM
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Yeah, I was really worried about Corey Potter's status.......bwahahahahahahaha!

Ahem, whew......thanks for clearing that up for everyone, Gregor!

Seriously though, if Corey Potter isn't good enough for the top 7 here and is waived/demoted/traded for a puck, then to me it's addition by subtraction.....the back end improves at least by default if he's outta here.

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#44 konst16
September 16 2013, 04:08PM
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I've been itching to see Belov play based on reports. A Good skating/passing ruskie dman with a mean streak. Makes me think of my all time favourite player, which should be obvious from my name..

Such a bonus if he's on the Vancouver lineup, as that will be the only preseason game ill be able to attend living out west.

If he runs over Kesler, and spears a Sedin I'll be in heaven.

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#45 Jon
September 16 2013, 04:38PM
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Jason, did Eakins confirm that he'll be going with 8 dman instead of 14 forwards?

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#46 Rama Lama
September 16 2013, 04:58PM
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madjam wrote:

Seems like a weak team being sent to Winnipeg , while most of main squad sent to Canucks for televised game .

I'm confused.....is this game really televised or will we be told on game day there is a blackout for this game?

Someone had mentioned that SN Pacific is carrying the game on Wed and they usually blackout the games.

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#47 konst16
September 16 2013, 05:17PM
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@Rama Lama

CenterIce is doing their usual free preview, so hopefully blackouts won't matter (i'm watching the to/phi game right now from vancouver).

Only gotcha is this current broadcast is tsn, while weds will be sn. Can't see that being an issue though..

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#48 Rama Lama
September 16 2013, 05:29PM
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@konst16

Thanks for the info.....most appreciated.

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#49 michael
September 16 2013, 06:18PM
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Jason where do you see J.Khahari ending up? Everett or is he eligible for OKC? His play certain has raised his stock. If I had my druthers I would keep Omark as my 13th forward and Fedun as my 7-8 defencmen.

What are the ratios that you need to have in OKC Jason. How many vets do they have to carry? And do you see OKC as a long term viable minor league franchise? The tornado's put a real kibosh on the economics of the area last year and I would think this season the season ticket numbers would be even poorer. I just don't see OKC in the future much past this season.

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#50 Citizen David
September 16 2013, 08:31PM
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Interesting that Gernat is viewed as a long shot at best while Marincin is thought of as a season away from making the club. Their junior careers were quite similar:

http://www.whl.ca/roster/show/id/8729 http://www.whl.ca/roster/show/id/6733

(Marincin played on an awful Prince George team while Gernat was on the loaded Oil Kings)

They are of almost identical build and both boast good offensive while still needing to work on eliminating the chaos from their own end.

In terms of prospect ranking Gernat is one spot below Marincin

http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/08/comparing-lists-2.html

As for Gernat needing to bulk up he's 20 years old and at least three seasons away from pushing to make the team. I'm not concerned about his weight at all because all along people have been saying the same things about Marincin and he just goes along slowly bulking up.

The one thing Marincin has that Gernat doesn't is a fairly good year of pro. If Gernat struggles this year it will be a sign to worry (somewhat, have patience) but if he has a good year people will be anointing him as a future top four D.

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