GDB -2: PLAYERS WILL DECIDE WHO MAKES THE TEAM

Jason Gregor
September 24 2013 12:29PM

Prior to yesterday's 2-1 victory over the Jets, Dallas Eakins stated the players will decide who makes this team, based on how they play. He admitted the final cuts will be difficult, but in most cases the players will play their way off, or on, the team.

In certain cases a veteran on a one-way deal might get the benefit of the doubt over a young player on a two-way contract, but the majority of the players who are here next week will have earned their spot.

I'd say 16 of the final 23 roster spots are locks, while the rest look pretty clear.

Forwards (9):

Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, David Perron, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth, Boyd Gordon, Jesse Joensuu and Steve MacIntyre.

Joensuu's play in the preseason has guaranteed he'll start the season here, but he'll need to continue his strong play when the games count to stay a regular in the lineup. By adding MacIntyre the Oilers told the league they were sick of teams taking liberties with their players, if he isn't in the opening night lineup, then claiming him on waivers was pointless.

D-men (5):

Justin Schultz, Andrew Ference, Jeff Petry, Ladislav Smid and Nick Schultz.

Goalies (2):

Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera

That leaves seven roster spots, four for opening night and three extra skaters.

The battle for the seven remaining spots, won't be as suspenseful as some thought a few weeks ago.

Three forward positions: two centres and one winger.

Marc Arcobello benefits from Sam Gagner's injury and unless the Oiles make a waiver claim on a centre, he'll be in the opening lineup. Neither he, nor Anton Lander has played exceptionally well thus far, but he's been the best of the two. He'll need to play better than he has to be a factor in the regular season. 

Will Acton played well last night, and he's done more than Lander, but it's almost like he will win the 4th line job by default. Acton will need to play much better to remain in the lineup when Gagner returns.

Acton and Arcobello's biggest challenge will come from the waiver wire. If a veteran centre is exposed, I think Craig MacTavish will seriously consider claiming him.

Lander hasn't had a strong camp. He hasn't stood out in any game and I think he's destined for OKC. I doubt any Oiler fan thought the Oilers would enter the season with a weaker centre depth than they did last year, but today that's how it looks.

Mike Brown, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager, Ryan Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick are battling for the 12th forward spot on opening night.

Pitlick has played well his last two games, but you have to consider the opposition when grading him. The lineups he played against weren't NHL caliber, and that is a factor. He'll need to be incredible tonight to be here next week. I'd rather see him play top-line minutes in the AHL than be the 12th, 13th or 14th forward.

Brown has been the most consistent of the remaining four. He isn't going to bring much offence, but he knows his role and he'll crash and bang every shift.

Jones started well, but he's been average the past week. Eakins said he's been happy with Jones intensity, but he'd like to see him produce some more points.

Eager had a good game in Vancouver, but he didn't do much last night. Eakins likes his speed, while his size and ability to play physical will get him another game. He needs to make an impression or he will be in the pressbox on opening night.

Hamilton started well, but hasn't done much the past few games. I think his two-way deal will have him starting the season in the AHL.

My guess is Brown, Jones and Eager make the final roster, and who is the 12th forward will depend on the next two games.

D-MEN

Denis Grebeshkov is out with a groin injury, so that means Anton Belov, Philip Larsen and Darnell Nurse will battle for sixth spot. Belov has looked good, although he'll need to move the puck quicker. It will take him a few more games to get accustomed to the speed of the NHL. Everything happens faster on the smaller ice than it does in the KHL, but he's a smart player and he's got the potential to become a solid NHL D-man.

Nurse was great in Vancouver, and okay at home. Unless he plays incredible tonight and Friday, if he's dressed, I think the Oilers will let him continue to develop in junior. Fedun only has one year of pro experience, he needs more seasoning.

Larsen has been up and down thus far. He struggled in Calgary, was great in Winnipeg and he was solid again last night. He moves the puck very well, and I think the next two games will decide if he or Belov will start against the Winnipeg Jets on opening night.

LINEUP

Smyth-Hall-Hemsky
Perron-Arcobello-Eberle
Jones-Lander-Pitlick
Eager-Acton-Hamilton

The Rangers aren't dressing many of their skilled forwards, but they are dressing three guys who can fight: Aaron Asham, Derrick Dorsett and Mike Haley.

If the Oilers are serious about wanting to protect their players, then they should dress Eager and Steve MacIntyre. MacIntyre arrives in Edmonton this afternoon, and you know he'll be pumped to play. In all my years covering the NHL I've never met a player who was more excited an appreciative to be in the NHL. MacIntyre knows his limitations and I still remember talking to him after his first NHL game. He almost cried he was so overwhelmed, especially because his father got the chance to watch him live. I know MacIntyre would love to dress tonight.

If the Oilers, and specifically Eakins, are serious about protecting their stars and being more aggressive, then tonight is the game they need to dress both Eager and MacIntyre.

Nurse-J.Schultz
Fedun-Petry
Belov-Larsen

Belov and Larsen are in a great battle for the 6th spot, and tonight's play will impact who starts next Tuesday and who is in the pressbox.

LaBarbera will start in goal.

RANGERS LINEUP

Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello
Kreider-Miller-Asham
Hrivik-Lindberg-Kristo
Haley-Moore-Dorsett

McDonagh-Girardi
Staal-Allen
Johnson-Hughes

Talbot
Biron

QUICK HITS

  • Eakins said the 94-4-83 line has been his best line thus far and he has no intention of breaking them up. He'd like to have a scoring threat on his top-three lines, and that's why we will likely see Jesse Joensuu-Boyd Gordon-Nail Yakupov as the 3rd line on opening night. All of those who wrote of Ryan Smyth, might need to retract their obituary.
     
  • Linus Omark was put on waivers today, and if he isn't claimed he'll fly with the team to OKC tomorrow. The Oilers will spend three days in OKC. Eakins feels the team needs some time outside of Edmonton to bond and get focused for the season.
     
  • Omark didn't so much in preseason, and according to Eakins he tried to do too much on his own. Not in a selfish way, but Eakins suggested Omark needed to use his teammates more.
     
  • Final thought... David Clarkson gets a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench. He didn't throw a punch when he entered the melee and basically played peacemaker, but he received a ten-game suspension. Meanwhile Zack Kassian broke Sam Gagner's jaw with a careless and gutless slash, but he only got five games.

    I don't have an issue with the NHL having a set suspension for leaving the bench. You do the crime, you do the time. But is it possible they could look at implementing similar minimums for stick infractions. If you slash a guy in the face it is 10 games. The end result shouldn't matter. If you chicken wing/elbow a guy in the head it is an automatic five-game suspension.

    I know the end result is different, and some slashes or elbows are worse than others, but if Clarkson had thrown five punches he'd still be sitting out ten games. He threw none, yet he's out 10 games.

    Why not just set a guaranteed suspension for other infractions?

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR  

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 nunyour
September 24 2013, 02:35PM
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I don't think Eager,and Jones care to fight anymore.

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#52 Marsellus Wallace
September 24 2013, 02:37PM
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If SMAC is standing at the penalty box and goes all Doug Glatt on Weiss after he serves his cheap shot penalty, the Kassian high stick probably doesn't happen.

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#53 Dave Lumley
September 24 2013, 04:34PM
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pkam wrote:

I really don't understand the love of Omark. He may have some skill and protect the puck pretty good consider his size. But he is a solo player and hang on the puck all the time. 80% of the puck cycle dies once he has the puck.

This is the type of player I hate to have on my line. Once he get the puck, you are most likely waiting to start the defense.

The love of Omark is, to some degree, the Oilers history of cutting guys like Miro Satan, Ray Whitney and Martin Ruschinsky adrift. I don't think anyone would mind Omark having great success somewhere else but we would all like to see a little something in return. Not basically nothing which we got for the other three. Giving talented guys no real chance has a long history here and is a bit of a sore spot.

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#54 Racki
September 24 2013, 05:15PM
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Why does this website look like a Flames blog now?

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#56 Justino
September 24 2013, 09:45PM
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Great game for the oilers. Perron is gonna be great for us, nursekeeps making it difficult to be sent down. Jones continues his uselessness.

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#57 HallFever
September 24 2013, 12:53PM
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Eakins says he doesn't look at the opponent's lineup. So he doesn't know they have 3 fighters. That will be hard to believe once the regular season starts.

I'll say Larsen has the edge on Belov for opening night. Belov still has adjustments to make. It might be better for Belov to play top pairing minutes in the AHL for a month so he can get really comfortable.

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#58 madjam
September 24 2013, 12:55PM
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If Nurse continues to shine , I think you have him and Belov in top 2- six . J.Schultz and Ference a lock . Figure the rest for yourselves . Trade a brewing ?

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#59 Dog Train
September 24 2013, 01:54PM
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It looks like Eakins might be trying some lines that he is considering for opening night. I can't see Ryan Hamilton making the lineup and Pitlick's odds are still long at best. If nothing else, Pitlick has put himself back on the map as a legitimate prospect this season. Hopefully he can find his offense in the AHL.

I'll say 4-2 Oilers. Goals by Perron, Smyth, Arcobello and Larsen.

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#60 Scott in Grande Prairie
September 24 2013, 02:26PM
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oilfan in yyc wrote:

Uhhh, Star Wars wasn't space launched nukes, it was about stopping inbound nukes, which is what I guess you're hoping for with Smac

You beat me to the correction on this one. Kudos.

Star Wars was the media's nickname for Reagan's Strategic Defence Initiative, which was definitely designed to shoot down incoming nukes, not destroy Moscow, Leningrad or Alderaan with the sophisticated heat beam known as a "laser."

Reagan ended with the nickname Ronnie Ray-gun because of the SDI.

Another fun Cold War technology fact: The cruise missiles that are regularly used by the U.S. to deliver big explosives to low-level targets over long stretches of land ... were first field-tested in ... (drum-roll please)... the Peace Country in Alberta.

Specifically, the Peace River and Fairview areas, because the terrain was thought to be quite similar to much of Russia (barren farmland in the winter with moderate tree cover).

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#61 Racki
September 24 2013, 02:41PM
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Marsellus Wallace wrote:

If SMAC is standing at the penalty box and goes all Doug Glatt on Weiss after he serves his cheap shot penalty, the Kassian high stick probably doesn't happen.

Haha, love this post. That would be funny as hell to see. Lots of laughs in that movie

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#62 Quicksilver ballet
September 24 2013, 05:28PM
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LovableLinus wrote:

Bobby Mac says Snowpants will be out for 2 months at least..

"Doctors who performed surgery on EDM F Sam Gagner's broken jaw believe he will be out of lineup for two months."

So that means Sam won't be 100% again till around Christmas.

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#63 Quicksilver ballet
September 24 2013, 11:01PM
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Alsker wrote:

couldnt agree more other than blowing Belov's horn a little more. QSB had him above Smid on the depth chart, he might be onto something!!

I'd like to see Nurse stay, but at the expense of Oilers current upcoming season, it is better long term to send him back. The Oilers need to doom him to 2 more yrs of playing with boys so to not created even more of a bottleneck on the finances. So much tied up in the future of this team there's not near enough left for NHL caliber depth players. Under Lowes watch, they've had very little success at developing their own.

Far from having 4 NHL caliber centers down the middle till Christmas. MacT mentioned this evening they're just going to ride this out with players from within the organization. NHL caliber or not, they'll be passed off as Oilers/NHL'ers for most of this year. No need to keep Nurse here for that, since MacTavish isn't committed to winning yet. One more year of hockey that doesn't matter certainly appears to be on Craigs agenda.

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#64 Baresnake
September 24 2013, 01:59PM
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DSF wrote:

But Clarkson makes 10 times much as Kassian.

Duh.

You win...... this time.....

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#65 michael
September 24 2013, 02:01PM
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oilfan in yyc wrote:

Uhhh, Star Wars wasn't space launched nukes, it was about stopping inbound nukes, which is what I guess you're hoping for with Smac

Your right. Thanks for the correction. The funny thing is that it wasn't apparently even being built. It was in the concept stage. The Russians were aware though of the Stealth Bombers and fighters that the US had developed. They had no answer.

I see the Oilers acquisition of Smack more as a deterrent than as an actual enforcer. His minutes will be limited. His effect will be on the ice with the skill players. Guys like Hall etal will hopefully not have to deal with the opposing teams pukes. I have no issue with Smack ragdolling a couple of pukes to ensure the message is clear and consice.I want to see less of our stars on the IR and more of our stars with their arms in the air after scoring goals. Smack's greatest asset is his ability to make others feel safe.

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#66 Oiler Al
September 24 2013, 02:49PM
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" player will have to play their way on or off the team". ... what a load of barnyard insulation.

By that virtue, Jones, Hemsky and Smyth should not make the team by their play thus far.There are others for sure,,, but just making a point on how serious the statement really is.

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#67 Greg Steinke
September 24 2013, 03:18PM
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I am sad they waived him. He is a very talented playmaker that needs to play with the right players to succeed. Consider his stats in Zug last year where he played with Henrik Zetterberg. Compare Zetterberg at Zug last year 23 games 16-16-32. +17. vs. Omark at Zug 48 games 17-52-69 +18. According to that Omark is as good if not better than Zetterberg. Is it just that the Oilers aren’t tapping into his potential? Or are they not giving him enough time to adapt to the NHL game? I think since he is a playmaker they need to find the right player(s) for him to play with. I don’t think they value him like they should. I hope he tears it up in OKC and the Oilers think deeply about how to help him reach his potential.

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#68 tileguy
September 24 2013, 03:25PM
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TonyT wrote:

Totally agree on standardized suspensions. Removing the grey area will make Shanahan's job easier and give his office credibility.

Not if they have to rule on intent. Go to canucks army and read all the posts about it being an accident. I'm biased but there was real intent to slash, maybe just not to the mouth. (or was there?)

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#69 Smokey
September 24 2013, 03:31PM
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Greg Steinke wrote:

I am sad they waived him. He is a very talented playmaker that needs to play with the right players to succeed. Consider his stats in Zug last year where he played with Henrik Zetterberg. Compare Zetterberg at Zug last year 23 games 16-16-32. +17. vs. Omark at Zug 48 games 17-52-69 +18. According to that Omark is as good if not better than Zetterberg. Is it just that the Oilers aren’t tapping into his potential? Or are they not giving him enough time to adapt to the NHL game? I think since he is a playmaker they need to find the right player(s) for him to play with. I don’t think they value him like they should. I hope he tears it up in OKC and the Oilers think deeply about how to help him reach his potential.

I think your reading into Swiss League stats. Who does he replace in the top 6? Hopefully he finds a soft landing.

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#70 madjam
September 24 2013, 03:51PM
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Larsen - not physical enough . Same for Fedun . Grebs-to many mistakes . Smid lacks offence . Belov has both , But Nurse has even more with his great skating and active stick with clubs biggest wingspan . He's physical and will only get better and tougher throughout season . We are better off with him than without him in line up - bottom line . It'll take a bad game or injury for him to drop out of contention now , and it's not looking like that's going to happen . I like the options it affords team if Nurse pulls in .

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#71 Greg Steinke
September 24 2013, 04:28PM
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pkam wrote:

I really don't understand the love of Omark. He may have some skill and protect the puck pretty good consider his size. But he is a solo player and hang on the puck all the time. 80% of the puck cycle dies once he has the puck.

This is the type of player I hate to have on my line. Once he get the puck, you are most likely waiting to start the defense.

Notice last year that the majority of his points were assists. He is a playmaker who is a great passer. I think he was trying to show himself as a good player in camp trying to do too much as Eakins stated. He should realize that he must focus on the passing game and the playmaking game in the context of working together with his teammates. It looks like he did a great job of it in Europe. He needs to bring out that ability here and he will make plenty of waves. Early in camp during the scrimmage, playing with Yakupov and Arcobello, Omark put on a show with great passing amongst each other. I wish they would have played that line together during the regular games. I think Eakins was hesitant because they are all smaller players. Maybe we could learn something from Zetterberg/Datsyuk/Brunner line in Detroit.

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#72 Shredder
September 24 2013, 04:38PM
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Greg Steinke wrote:

Notice last year that the majority of his points were assists. He is a playmaker who is a great passer. I think he was trying to show himself as a good player in camp trying to do too much as Eakins stated. He should realize that he must focus on the passing game and the playmaking game in the context of working together with his teammates. It looks like he did a great job of it in Europe. He needs to bring out that ability here and he will make plenty of waves. Early in camp during the scrimmage, playing with Yakupov and Arcobello, Omark put on a show with great passing amongst each other. I wish they would have played that line together during the regular games. I think Eakins was hesitant because they are all smaller players. Maybe we could learn something from Zetterberg/Datsyuk/Brunner line in Detroit.

I've been to a couple of pre-season games and seen a few more on tv, and my take on Omark is that when he was playing with Yakupov, he couldn't get him the puck. Yakupov played a great team game, and did the give and go, set up teammates, and took a good hard shot when he was set up for one. Omark though...usually gave up the puck once he crossed the blue line, in fact just about every time...which meant that Yakupov was more than likely trying to get the puck back than really playing a good team game. Omark consistently lost puck battles, gave up the puck in every zone, made bad passes and relied on teammates to both finish the play (ie: shoot) or get the puck back for him.

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#73 Romanus
September 24 2013, 04:54PM
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gord962 wrote:

Intent to strike Gagner or not, there was intent by Kassian to swing his stick. Players are accountable for what their stick hits.

He missed his check. Got embarrassed and swung. We've all been there. He didn't necessarily mean to hit his face, but meant to hit him.

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#74 Racki
September 24 2013, 05:32PM
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Wait a sec, Derek Dorsett.... how many people have forgotten about him already? Shouldn't MacIntyre be in the lineup to flex his muscle for that reason alone? I know it's been a couple years, but that might be your first example of why MacIntyre was brought in, and a way of spreading the Semenko-esque reputation around the league.

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#75 Alsker
September 24 2013, 09:52PM
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Justino wrote:

Great game for the oilers. Perron is gonna be great for us, nursekeeps making it difficult to be sent down. Jones continues his uselessness.

couldnt agree more other than blowing Belov's horn a little more. QSB had him above Smid on the depth chart, he might be onto something!!

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#76 madjam
September 24 2013, 11:09PM
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Racki wrote:

Wait a sec, Derek Dorsett.... how many people have forgotten about him already? Shouldn't MacIntyre be in the lineup to flex his muscle for that reason alone? I know it's been a couple years, but that might be your first example of why MacIntyre was brought in, and a way of spreading the Semenko-esque reputation around the league.

Nurse put a nice headlock on Dorsett and he did not seem to want to challenge him . Nurse had a bad first period , but was much stronger in 2nd and 3rd . Belov coming off as a pleasant surprise . Arcobello finally showed something this game - excellent first period . Petry played well this game . Overall we are playing much better as a team effort so far , but 3rd period offensive wows are concerning . Not to many players interested in challenging Nurse - must be his reputation from Junior ranks .

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#77 Wax Man Riley
September 24 2013, 02:22PM
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NJD signed Damien Brunner.... anyone think they'll pick up Omark?

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#78 pkam
September 24 2013, 03:04PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

" player will have to play their way on or off the team". ... what a load of barnyard insulation.

By that virtue, Jones, Hemsky and Smyth should not make the team by their play thus far.There are others for sure,,, but just making a point on how serious the statement really is.

Now there are about 7-8 guys fighting for 4 spots. Hamilton, Acton, Eager, Lander, Arcobello, Pitlick, Omark, Joensuu. I agree so far Jones doesn't deserve a spot and should be fighting with the group. Smyth is borderline. But Hemsky, other than Joensuu, I don't think any in the group is better to Hemsky.

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#79 Time Travelling Sean
September 24 2013, 03:25PM
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Racki wrote:

If you've only seen one preseason game perhaps your opinion on Hemsky needing to be cut is worth a jar of piss. He has been very good with Hall so far. Even Smyth looks good so far. I think they've made Hall at C a lot more possible. People need to check their previously formed opinions at the door. Clean slate. FYI, I wanted Hemsky traded this off season but he looks great so far. They push the play and allow other scoring lines better opportunity to score too since they can go power vs power. As for Jones, you did get that one right, and I do like him, however. He is going to likely lose his job here.

Are you responding to someone else? :c

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#80 gord962
September 24 2013, 04:29PM
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Greg Steinke wrote:

Like Eakins said I think he was trying to hard. He didn't focus on what he does well. He wanted so badly to make the team that he was trying to play Eakins game rather than his game, which is playmaking and passing. I don't think the dump and chase game is his best game even though he is often pretty good along the boards. I hope Eakins can bridge the two in the future if he ever gets a chance again. Notice that when Pitlick and Acton were interviewed they were focussed on playing their game and doing what they do well. I think Omark got off track on that. If he had focussed on only doing what he does well, I think we would all be talking about it.

But he didn't. He looked horrible. I wish he could make the club as he is a player than can get all 16k+ fans out of their seat with his skill, but he chose not to do what was required to make the team. Hopefully he has a great start in OKC and he can land a spot when the next round of inevitable injuries hit the big club. But that will only happen if he figures out what is required in the AHL. He has to be able to suceed at whichever role is given to him, not have a role created for him to suceed. Good luck, Linus!

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#81 Rama Lama
September 24 2013, 05:19PM
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The NHL is NOT serious about stick infractions, or head injuries delivered from targeting the head.

If the league wanted to stop this sort of thing.......make the punishment fit the crime. That being your penalty/suspension should be directly linked to the injured player and how long he suffers from the injury.

Anything less will accomplish absolutely nothing.

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#82 NJ
September 24 2013, 06:37PM
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@Jason Gregor

My mistake. You would know better than I would (re: Fedun) which is why I asked. I've played with Fedun and liked everything about him... Somehow I missed that in your article. I'd love to see him make it considering what he's been through, however he now needs to make the team based on his own efforts and merit, not past accolades (or an excellent recovery).

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#83 Dennis
September 24 2013, 08:24PM
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Hahahah! Way to go Crazy Eyes!

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#84 Scobydoo
September 24 2013, 08:28PM
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Baresnake wrote:

It was a terrible injustice that he was brought back for a tryout in the first place. One lucky (but I admit awesome) shootout goal, and some youtube highlights from Europe are all he's done. O-V-E-R-R-A-T-E-D.

65 8 22 30 0.46

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#85 Quicksilver ballet
September 24 2013, 11:09PM
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That being said, watch MacTavish go out tomorrow and offer sheet the Rangers Stephan.

That would sure light a fire under an already agitated Glen Sather. Rangers would be in tough to match a 3 yr, 12 million dollar sheet.

Stir the pot strawman (Craig MacTavish).

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#86 Joy S. Lee
September 25 2013, 05:56AM
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Mikey wrote:

Yep and then comes the Olympic break. Sam Gagner probably won't have a good year.

That's an interesting assumption. I know, it's based on the idea that he won't be able to build the momentum necessary to have a good year, and that's a viable consideration, but you might also say he'll be perfectly fresh for the playoff run. I guess it'll all really depend on Sam, won't it? I'll make an assumption of my own, too: I'll bet he can't wait to get back in the lineup.

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#87 Rob...
September 25 2013, 01:12PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

What could've been had Darnell dropped the gloves and cleaned his clock, what could have been...would have been one more con on the sending him back list.

Have to think Dorsett left him alone out of respect. Maybe felt it was a little early to unleash the Cracken on the kid.

I didn't think I'd ever see the name Dorsett and respect in the same sentence on ON.

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#88 Eastern Oil
September 24 2013, 01:45PM
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@ Jason Gregor

Sorry about the premature post, hit enter way too quickly.

Real question is: although I understand what you're saying about dressing Mac because of Asham, Dorsett and Hainsey, who do you take out to put him in?

Every guy in the bottom 6 is fighting for a job right now and only have 1-2 games left to be showcased. That's a tough call to remove one of those guys to put in someone who will not find a partner in any of the opposing players.

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#89 Papamike
September 24 2013, 03:32PM
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Papamike wrote:

That was no accident by any means. The only problem (excuse) was the hight differential between the two men. The suspension should have been longer as it was no where near what anyone would consider it a "hockey play"

edit, I cannot spell at all with this broken keyboard...sorry

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#90 Greg Steinke
September 24 2013, 03:56PM
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gord962 wrote:

I like Omark and was happy to see him resigned but he did NOTHING on the ice to earn a roster spot.

Like Eakins said I think he was trying to hard. He didn't focus on what he does well. He wanted so badly to make the team that he was trying to play Eakins game rather than his game, which is playmaking and passing. I don't think the dump and chase game is his best game even though he is often pretty good along the boards. I hope Eakins can bridge the two in the future if he ever gets a chance again. Notice that when Pitlick and Acton were interviewed they were focussed on playing their game and doing what they do well. I think Omark got off track on that. If he had focussed on only doing what he does well, I think we would all be talking about it.

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#91 NJ
September 24 2013, 04:28PM
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I am very interested to see how Eakins uses SMac. Really, by his own description, he doesn't want SMac on his team. He wants guys who can play as much ice time as he requires. SMac by definition and execution is a 5 min or less a night, enforcer type. He cannot Skate. Shoot. Score. In fact he can't hit anyone because he can't catch them... (Under normal circumstances).

So, that leaves only 2 options. Eakins recants and gives him an "unearned" roster spot based on his thug abilities. Or...

SMac loses 30+ lbs, trims down, faster, harder and a guy who can not only fight, but crush bodies and forecheck. I would suggest that 30lbs is a LOT of weight to lose, but based on Eakins own statement on what he's looking for from players AND team, isn't this the only way SMac fits in? Unless you can throw him in front of the net on the PP or some other ridiculous thought, someone tell me how and why this works and fits.

Yes. I like the thought of someone who can beat the snot out of the headhunters, but I would think SMac as a fighting coach for Ben Eager might be a better solution than putting a gorilla on the ice. That is all.

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#92 LovableLinus
September 24 2013, 04:48PM
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Bobby Mac says Snowpants will be out for 2 months at least..

"Doctors who performed surgery on EDM F Sam Gagner's broken jaw believe he will be out of lineup for two months."

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#93 MessyEH!
September 24 2013, 05:04PM
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I found this quote very interesting. Eakins seems to like Hemsky and Smyth.

"That’s been our best line (camp). Taylor and Hemsky have great speed that covers Smytty off (37 years old),” Eakins said. “For me, there’s not a better guy on the wall (Smyth) or a better guy going to the net and Taylor and Hemsky can cycle and know Smytty will be there.”

I sure do miss Horcoff right now.

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#94 Mikey
September 24 2013, 07:53PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

So that means Sam won't be 100% again till around Christmas.

Yep and then comes the Olympic break. Sam Gagner probably won't have a good year.

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#95 Cowbell_Feva
September 25 2013, 05:21AM
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I actually agree with Quicksilver...with a weak Defense and pathetic help up the middle, this is going to be another long season in Etown. No reason to have Nurse here to suffer with it. No matter what I would have sent him down to dominate the OHL, grow into his frame and help Canada bring Gold back home from Malmo this Xmas.

I think some people are looking a little bit too hard into some meaningless pre-season games, when (as Gregor has mentioned) the other teams are quite weak. Nurse has looked good, and is by a land slide their best Defensive prospect, but there is no reason to stunt his development in the bigs, especially once the men start to come to town that have actual NHL experience.

I think Belov and Larssen looked better than I expected they would, which is a nice surprise. Again, it is still early. A few regular season games in could change that outlook drastically.

Oilers, just beat the piss outta the Flames and Canucks...I wish like hell you could make the playoffs, but it would take the stars to align in many facets for it to happen, so just beat the Nucks and Flames.

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#96 Mikey
September 25 2013, 07:19AM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

That's an interesting assumption. I know, it's based on the idea that he won't be able to build the momentum necessary to have a good year, and that's a viable consideration, but you might also say he'll be perfectly fresh for the playoff run. I guess it'll all really depend on Sam, won't it? I'll make an assumption of my own, too: I'll bet he can't wait to get back in the lineup.

Whoa, first we need to make the playoffs. Thats a pretty big assumtion.

Youre right its all on sam, but he has been injured to start the season before, and never really got going. Different injuries for sure.

And yea of course he can't wait to get back in the line up. But that has nothing to do with how well he will play.

Don't get me wrong. I would love nothing more than for Gagner to play awesome.

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#97 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2013, 09:03AM
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madjam wrote:

Nurse put a nice headlock on Dorsett and he did not seem to want to challenge him . Nurse had a bad first period , but was much stronger in 2nd and 3rd . Belov coming off as a pleasant surprise . Arcobello finally showed something this game - excellent first period . Petry played well this game . Overall we are playing much better as a team effort so far , but 3rd period offensive wows are concerning . Not to many players interested in challenging Nurse - must be his reputation from Junior ranks .

What could've been had Darnell dropped the gloves and cleaned his clock, what could have been...would have been one more con on the sending him back list.

Have to think Dorsett left him alone out of respect. Maybe felt it was a little early to unleash the Cracken on the kid.

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#98 pkam
September 25 2013, 10:23AM
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Greg Steinke wrote:

Notice last year that the majority of his points were assists. He is a playmaker who is a great passer. I think he was trying to show himself as a good player in camp trying to do too much as Eakins stated. He should realize that he must focus on the passing game and the playmaking game in the context of working together with his teammates. It looks like he did a great job of it in Europe. He needs to bring out that ability here and he will make plenty of waves. Early in camp during the scrimmage, playing with Yakupov and Arcobello, Omark put on a show with great passing amongst each other. I wish they would have played that line together during the regular games. I think Eakins was hesitant because they are all smaller players. Maybe we could learn something from Zetterberg/Datsyuk/Brunner line in Detroit.

I don't know if you watch any of his games.

This is what I observe from watching him play. Once he gets the puck, he will hang on to it, waiting for the opportunity to make a pass to his linemate in the front of net to finish off his pass. Seldom plays the give and take hockey with his linemates. When he is on ice, you hardly see any puck cycling but mostly puck battles near the board in the offensive zone.

I still remember one post game interview with Paajarvi after he scored a beautiful pass from Omark. Paajarvi told the reporter that Omark told him to go to net and wait for his pass. That is probably why Omark has many assists. The problem is 9 of 10 times he will turn an offense into defense once he has the puck in the offensive zone.

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#99 oilerjed
September 25 2013, 03:11PM
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Joy S. Lee wrote:

That's an interesting assumption. I know, it's based on the idea that he won't be able to build the momentum necessary to have a good year, and that's a viable consideration, but you might also say he'll be perfectly fresh for the playoff run. I guess it'll all really depend on Sam, won't it? I'll make an assumption of my own, too: I'll bet he can't wait to get back in the lineup.

Well on the plus side for Sam, he is usually a slow starter anyway and doesnt really heat up until mid season.

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#100 pkam
September 25 2013, 03:46PM
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oilerjed wrote:

Well on the plus side for Sam, he is usually a slow starter anyway and doesnt really heat up until mid season.

Not last year, he started off very well but cooled off in the last 10 games - the losing streak which killed our playoff hope.

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