NURSE TO JUNIOR, EAKINS HATES SITTING BACK

Jason Gregor
September 25 2013 09:16AM

Darnell Nurse definitely made an impression in his first NHL camp. His infectious smile and polite demeanor allowed him to fit in off the ice, but it was his on-ice play that impressed his teammates the most. None of the Oilers had ever seen him play before, but his fluid skating stride grabbed their attention the first day of camp.

"He moves incredibly well," Taylor Hall said to me on the second day of training camp. "He's so smooth for a big man. He'll be scary when he fills out," continued Hall.

When Hall is impressed by a player's skating ability, you take notice.

Last Wednesday in Vancouver, Nurse played a dominating 24 minutes vs. the Canucks. He gave management, coaches, teammates and the fans a glimpse of his future potential, and he should go back to Sault Ste. Marie feeling very good about his game.

While Nurse dominated in Vancouver that night, in his other preseason games he was solid. At times he looked his age, and you could see that he'll need to add some weight to his 6'4" frame, but every game he played he did something that caught your attention.

Even the most pessimistic Oiler fan was impressed by Nurse, and in 12 months I think he'll be even more impressive.

The Oilers made the right decision to send him to junior. He'll go back to the OHL, play 25-30 minutes a night, develop his game, improve his strength and he'll take on more of a leadership role. He'll be a better player next year, and when he comes to training camp he'll be focused on making the team.

Prior to the draft I interviewed Nurse, and when I asked him about going straight to the NHL he gave an incredibly honest and mature answer, "I think I need to keep developing my game. There are areas I need to improve on, and I think it would be best for me to play another year in junior."

For Nurse to recognize in the summer that the best thing for him would be another year in junior, shows you why he'll be successful, but that doesn't he mean he wasn't crushed when Eakins told him the news last night.

"If anyone tells you it feels good to get cut, they're probably lying to you," he said. "It sucks. There's nothing fun about it but they (Oilers) have the best plan for me and my development. I'm going to go back and dominate my league and hopefully I'll have the opportunity to play in World Juniors," continued Nurse.

I love his attitude. He'll use this as motivation to become even better. He'll make a serious push for the World Junior team and that experience will also help his development.

THIS IS A GOOD THING

There is no negative in sending Nurse back to junior, the only negative out of training camp was that we didn't get to see him play against a complete NHL team. Every game he playe, the opposition had very few proven NHL players. Regardless, that game in Vancouver gave us all a glimpse of his potential. 

He didn't look out of place, even when the Sedins were on the ice, and the best part was that he didn't look intimidated at all. You can't teach confidence, and you can't teach competitiveness. Nurse has both in abundance, and I can't wait to see how he looks next September.

THREE MORE CUTS

Tyler Pitlick, Anton Lander and Taylor Fedun were assigned to OKC last night. They will be on the team charter to OKC this morning and all of them will play significant minutes in OKC this season. Fedun continues to improve. He's an incredibly smart player who rarely makes mistakes. He or Oscar Klefbom will be the first call up, if the Oilers suffer any injuries on the blueline.

Pitlick had the best training camp of his short career. He is close to being an NHL player, and if he can stay healthy this year. and keep improving. he should make a serious push to crack the lineup next season.

Lander wasn't a factor in training camp. He just never looked comfortable and wasn't able to stand out in any of the games. If he can get off to a good start and play well, I think there is a good chance he will play some games in Edmonton this season. He needs to be a leader and one of the best players every night in OKC.

***EDIT at 10:00 a.m.***

The Oilers placed Ryan Jones on waivers this morning. If he clears he'll start the season in OKC. I haven't seen anything from Ryan Hamilton or Ben Eager that suggests they are better NHL players than Jones, but Jones didn't have a strong camp and the Oilers do save cap space by keeping Hamilton up and sending Jones down.

Eager brings a completely different element, so I understand why he is here. Hamilton's footspeed in the preseason was an issue, we'll see how he looks against NHL lineups. Good for him he worked hard to make the lineup, but I don't think anyone on the Oilers fourth line is a lock to stay the entire season.

A WELCOME CHANGE

A few things I've never understood; how someone thinks Olivia Wilde isn't hot or why coaches play prevent defence in football or sit back when they have a lead in hockey.  The picture answers the first question, and when I've watched the Oilers games this season I've noticed a refreshing approach when they have a lead. Eakins wants them to keep pushing forward, rather than sitting on a lead. THANK GOODNESS.

I find when I watch games on TV, even worse on the web, that it is hard to see some of the small nuances of the game. The camera only focuses on the puck carrier, so it's hard to see what players are doing away from the play. Luckily the Oilers have had the lead for every home game this season, and I noticed early on that they never "sat back" on a lead.

In the first few games I wondered if it was just the quality of the opposition, but after watching last night's game I was confident the Oilers' were in fact trying to remain aggressive.

David Perron played in St.Louis the past few seasons, and the Blues have a reputation of protecting leads, so I asked him if Eakins' message, when protecting a lead was different than what he'd previously experienced. 

He tells us to keep going, and I love it and I think everyone in the room does. I don't think that other coaches say sit back, but they way they react it says it without saying it. If you read between the lines, it is pretty easy to figure out that (sitting back) is what they want from the team. 

If you are up 3-2, yeah you need to be smart, but even if you are down 1-0 you need to be smart. It is the same game all the time, and I like that. Dallas wants us to learn to play the same game; in the preseason, the regular season and then when we get in the playoffs we won't be as nervous. 

It is refreshing to hear that a coach is constantly telling his team to push forward, and it is equally good to hear a player already thinking about the playoffs. That is the type of attitude the Oilers need.

After speaking with Perron, I asked Eakins about his gameplan to never stop attacking. 

It kills me. It makes me crazy. I was getting ready to check myself in in the third period because we started to sit back and I don’t understand  why you would. After having great success for two periods by pushing the pace, and limiting their time and space, why would we suddenly give them time and space when the otherwas working for us. I feel the best way to defend a lead is to score a goal. That’s the way to do it. To sit back and give them chance after chance doesn’t make sense to me. 

There are things we can do in practice to work on that, but that is more of a mentality. We have to plant the seed, then start taking great care of that seed and watering it every day, and that's what we are going to do here. That is the one thing I didn't love about the game, because we started to sit back in the third period. 

When the regular season begins and the games matter, if the Oilers are sitting back on a lead, don't blame the coach. He'll be just as frustrated and perplexed as you if his team stops pushing forward. I'm curious to see how long it takes before the players are confident enough not to sit back.

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 Chaz
September 25 2013, 02:37PM
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toblerusse wrote:

Your comment about watching a game on TV and it's limitations is something I think about on a regular basis and something i wait patiently for the future to change. We have such incredible technology available to us yet us, as viewers, are at the mercy of the production of the tv station we are obligated to watch.

I've seen multi-camera options online as many as 6 years ago. The NBA offered it a long time ago and I still cant believe it hasnt expanded.

I made an infographic for my job (we have a blog i run) and I put as many ideas i could into it.

http://visual.ly/future-how-we-watch-hockey

Basically i feel that we should be able to control which of the several camera angles are available at any given time. I would like to watch the powerplay from behind the net WHEN I CHOOSE TO.

I would also love to have access to any of thenumerous microphones around the rink - or better yet, one on the refs or players.

The product of watching sports on tv/online has plenty of room to grow. Billions of dollars to be made as well.

I couldn't agree more. I've often said if the NHL could just borrow the Monday Night Football crew for a couple of weeks I'm sure they'd revolutionize the way we watch hockey. They should have hundreds of small cameras built into the boards all around the rink to show any possible angle. They should also play live audio feeds even if this means having parental warnings.

I hate the fact that Sportsnet who cover most of the Oilers games are so far behind with the times. Nothing like watching an amazing rush by Hall only to have the telecast switch to a Canadian Tire Zamboni going across the screen instead of a replay, or some blurb about Score and win. I realize advertisers generate revenue, but it shouldn't have an overly negative effect on the broadcast. Thank God for PVR.

In my mind, they should do like soccer; show the entire period with no ads. TV timeouts has ruined the flow of hockey.

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#53 Wax Man Riley
September 25 2013, 03:57PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You and me bud, we'll convert all these heathens surrounding us. It just seems counter productive to bring all these kids into camp that have zero chance of making this non playoff team.

Where the Oilers are today, roster wise, wouldn't it have been a significant benefit to have been down to this group two and a half weeks ago? Implement that new system and have the guys get use to each other. Hit the ground running as a 25 man group Oct 1st. On a team that needs every competitive advantage they can get. It appears to be a missed opportunity having all these kids with zero chance of making the club just getting in the way these last couple weeks. Looks more Gong Show than serving a functional purpose if you ask me.

The serious injury to Gagner probably insures Hopkins will be rushed back into this lineup.

Honest question, QSB.... do you purposely try to have a worse Dakin score than DSF?

Keep it up, I think you're almost there.

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#54 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2013, 07:35PM
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@David S

I hear you David. It's just hockey tawk BS.

Don't you think you're cheating yourself even just a little to maintain that ever so popular plastic image many here try to keep? Why not just be honest and call a spade a spade once in a while. After what we've seen the last 8 yrs, you STILL feel the Oilers are above criticism?

I don't know if it's a fault of mine, but I don't need anyones approval. Try being your own man, and not the guy you think people want you to be. As you grow older and more self confident, you too, will learn to not care jack ship about what someone thinks about you. I've been self employed for the last 30 yrs, so my opinion could appear jaded to some. Never been In a position where I needed someone to like me. Take the rocky road sometime David. There are far fewer sheep in your way.

#growapairdude- or should I say mam?

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#55 Spydyr
September 25 2013, 09:51AM
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DSF wrote:

Didn't I tell y'all that Perron was the real deal?

Might even lead the Oilers in scoring this season.

Book it...... Not , Hall if he stays healthy is a beast.

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#56 Pucker
September 25 2013, 12:22PM
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Quickie - you're gettin' old. You should get back on whatever you were before, or get off whatever you started on these past few months.

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#57 pkam
September 25 2013, 01:17PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You and me bud, we'll convert all these heathens surrounding us. It just seems counter productive to bring all these kids into camp that have zero chance of making this non playoff team.

Where the Oilers are today, roster wise, wouldn't it have been a significant benefit to have been down to this group two and a half weeks ago? Implement that new system and have the guys get use to each other. Hit the ground running as a 25 man group Oct 1st. On a team that needs every competitive advantage they can get. It appears to be a missed opportunity having all these kids with zero chance of making the club just getting in the way these last couple weeks. Looks more Gong Show than serving a functional purpose if you ask me.

The serious injury to Gagner probably insures Hopkins will be rushed back into this lineup.

Speaks like a man with no tomorrow, just today.

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#58 Mikey
September 25 2013, 02:42PM
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Will wrote:

And yet injuries are already allowing both Arcebello and Acton to be in our opening night roster. Sure we have depth, but not in all areas.

Its been said before, so I'll say it again. Name two other teams in any league where if they lost their top 2 C they would be able to fill the roster spots with quality players.

Hell their are only a handfull of teams that can go on with out their top 2 players. Not saying Gags is top 2, but what if Hall went down that game instead of gags.

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#59 Tim in Kelowna
September 25 2013, 03:02PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
OW is just okay-hot.

Guys who say stuff like this are the same guys who would need to change their shorts if she made eye contact.

Eeeasy, fella. I was just kiddin' around. But seriously, she's not in my top 50... not that I have one.

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#60 djc
September 26 2013, 09:10AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Haven't been paying attention Wax Man. Figured those buttons were there for the kids to play with, not be a meter to gauge the popularity contest the kids seem to enjoy. Never really paid much attention to the arse kissing scores or negative prop buttons.

I've been trying hard to put up more of the so called cookie cutter answers that are popular here, but as you can see, I still have a ways to go before I become one of the mundane normal vanilla types.

People give you "thumbs down" not because they don't like you or because it's a popularity contest, but rather because your comments make no sense and your knowledge of hockey is laughable.

Oooooh you are such a rebel because you don't give cookie cutter answers (ie: opinions that are different than yours)! Hopefully you get your internet trophy soon.

Keep trying to convince yourself that you don't care what people think while you post 50 times a day and try to rile people up with your comments about kids committing suidice and visible minorities. Hopefully you have other things in life besides this blog since you don't appear to have much else.

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#61 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 25 2013, 09:47AM
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Hey JG,

Can you find out what is going on with Curtis Hamilton?

Why hasn't he been cut yet? Have you seen him around, on the ice or anything?

I'm assuming he's injured, if so what's the injury? And, if so, why would that keep them from cutting him from the TC roster to rehab if he isn't going to make the team anyway?

It is very confusing.

Thanks!

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#62 pkam
September 25 2013, 10:50AM
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Ducey wrote:

I am surprised to see Jones waived. Its not that he doesn't deserve it, its that he has a one way and Ryan Hamilton has a two way contract. Not sure I saw a lot of difference between the two.

It would be cheaper for the organization to send down Hamilton.

Hopefully the Oilers are still active on the waiver wire. There will be one or two good forwards sent down. They could grab one and ditch Eager.

The one reason is Jones may improve if he can get more ice time in OKC and Hamilton probably won't. And at the moment, Jones will be the man sitting in the press box if he stays in Edmonton.

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#63 Craig1981
September 25 2013, 11:51AM
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Spydyr wrote:

99 was not too bad.

who???? hahahaha. I just had to see. I made that comment against The Great One, and still got 100 less trashed than QSB.....

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#64 pkam
September 25 2013, 11:53AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Potter isn't even in the Oilers top-8 though... Fedun will need to beat out guys like Larsen and Belov moving forward...

Belov may start his NHL career as a 3rd pairing, but I believe he will be a top 4 just a matter of time. So Fedun does not need to beat Belov just to make to top 6.

Larsen and Grebeshkov, perhaps if they are willing to be a 3rd pairing making about 1M, which is what Potter and Fedun will be.

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#65 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2013, 12:26PM
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Ben Eager has the wheels to play on any line, I think that's why he's still here. Eakins will give Ben a role he can succeed in rather than force him to be the player the last coach/GM wanted him to be. With the blender about to be used extensively this season, I'd kinda like to see someone/anyone slide in between Nail Yakupov and Ben Eager. Eberle,Hall,Acton,Arcobello,etc... let each one of them have a go between these two. What do they have to lose, other than another hockey game.

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#66 Will
September 25 2013, 02:35PM
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Lochenzo wrote:

You have to evaluate what you know on draft day. We didn't know how good Nichuskin would be at camp. We also don't know what will happen if Nichuskin doesn't want to sign a bridge deal for his second contract. I'm just saying that there are risks with this player. You have to ask the question, will this guy be a player for this franchise 5 years down the road. Nichuskin certainly has the talent. But which league will he be playing in?

If I hear you correctly, your main complaint was that he was not willing to come here and play in the AHL if he didn't show very good. You think that is indicative of a poor attitude right?

However, the kid is showing really, really, really good so going down to the AHL is a non issue. True he could have said I want to come over and prove why I belong on a team, but instead he basically said if you draft me, do so with the intention of playing me in the NHL, because I will go to the KHL otherwise. You have to remember, he was offered stupid money to play in the KHL, that he wouldn't want to play in the AHL for pennies of what he could make is understandable. Dream of playing in the NHL or not, millions of dollars were on the table and it wasn't worth his time to 'prove himself' in the AHL. Instead he could simply make bank in the KHL and wait it out for a team to sign him to a one way NHL contract.

That's all he was saying, it was a business move, that again is really a non issue because he could very well win the calder this year.

As for picking Nurse over Nichuskin on draft day? Unless we picked him up and moved other players out for help right now, which likely wouldn't have happened as teams would be reluctant to give something of value up with the salary cap going down, then I think we made the right choice in getting Nurse. Not because of attitude, or the Russian factor or ability. But because what this team needs is a number one D man, and I think Nurse can be that guy in 2 - 3 years. And since we're not going to pay Weber 14 mil a year anytime soon, this was the way to go.

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#67 Jack
September 25 2013, 03:40PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Says the guy who doesn't know the first letter of a sentence should be capitalized.

Go ahead and fix your best effort, while we wait, Mr. True Intelligence.

You are missing two commas, one you can get away with.

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#68 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2013, 09:20AM
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Stand pat and make due with what's already in the system. Ride this season out, and hope the kids can do it on their own. One more season of hockey that doesn't matter coming to RX1 this fall.

It's difficult to understand how a team with so many holes on the roster can send someone who may have been able to contribute back to junior. To even believe he couldn't be a contributor under Eakins watch is stuborn. Guess we'll never know now. Despite being well inside the top 6 group of defenders on this team during camp, we won't get to see how he'd fare against NHL players, he didn't even get that opportunity.

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#69 Lochenzo
September 25 2013, 11:15AM
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Will wrote:

Have you been watching any clips of Nichushkin in Dallas pre season. Sending him down to AHL would hinder his development if anything since he would just skate through most of the competition down there. At least up in the NHL he'll have to learn play on both sides of the puck.

You have to evaluate what you know on draft day. We didn't know how good Nichuskin would be at camp. We also don't know what will happen if Nichuskin doesn't want to sign a bridge deal for his second contract. I'm just saying that there are risks with this player. You have to ask the question, will this guy be a player for this franchise 5 years down the road. Nichuskin certainly has the talent. But which league will he be playing in?

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#70 tileguy
September 25 2013, 11:25AM
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On Monday I want you to vote for Taylor Hall as captain. No doubt in my mind he is carrying this team, doing what is best for the team by excelling at centre and leading by example with his hard work never complaining attitude.

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#71 Dan 1919
September 25 2013, 01:02PM
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Shultz, Ference. Smid, Petry. Shultz, Belov

We will actually have competitive dmen this year. Looking at that roster, Petry and N.Shultz are the likely guys to be cycled in and out if they for example... pass the puck to the goal net and give it away in their own zone resulting in a goal against (Petry) on what should be a very simple pass off the boards for a millionaire playing hockey.

The D-men this year will need to be very careful not to loose their spot for a game or two, because Larsen or Fedun will take that opportunity and likely won't give it back(more so Fedun)... AKA start trembling if you continue that weak own zone play Petry.

I like the Jones on waiver move. Eager played with more speed and energy (albeit nothing spectacular), and has WAY more upside if Eakins is able to spark him.

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#72 Craig1981
September 25 2013, 01:33PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You and me bud, we'll convert all these heathens surrounding us. It just seems counter productive to bring all these kids into camp that have zero chance of making this non playoff team.

Where the Oilers are today, roster wise, wouldn't it have been a significant benefit to have been down to this group two and a half weeks ago? Implement that new system and have the guys get use to each other. Hit the ground running as a 25 man group Oct 1st. On a team that needs every competitive advantage they can get. It appears to be a missed opportunity having all these kids with zero chance of making the club just getting in the way these last couple weeks. Looks more Gong Show than serving a functional purpose if you ask me.

The serious injury to Gagner probably insures Hopkins will be rushed back into this lineup.

But you see all 23 players have been on the ice together since the start of preseason. They have been learning the system together. Its given players like Nurse a chance to develop with the team and given players like Omark, Jones, Pitlick, and Kelfbom have all learned the system now.

If we would of cut the team when you wanted we would of had injuries to Gagner and Grebeshkov, then had to call up players that had not been with the team. And its a long 82 games season, lets not wear everyone out.

As well playes like Belov and Eager might not be on the team.

30 teams do do not feel your way is a opportunity, so I'm quite sure it is not.

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#73 tileguy
September 25 2013, 02:48PM
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abbeef wrote:

I think this line would be brutal as well but Eager is not slow at all, he is faster than Omark. All three should never be dressed for the same game as that line would give the opposition a huge advantage,

You could dress all 3 guys against calgary and vancouver, no law says you have to roll 4 lines unless the going gets tough. Kids are plenty young enough to play 20 mins each.

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#74 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2013, 03:05PM
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@madjam

Labarbarra looks shaky and has not played many games last year or before. _______________________________________________________________________________________

We'd all be shaky in that hurry up and wait environment. Roy and Bunz, just in the way the last two weeks. Jason should be fine 3 or 4 weeks from now, now that they're down to just two goalies.

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#75 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2013, 03:19PM
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Doomoil wrote:

you're a dunce.

Says the guy who doesn't know the first letter of a sentence should be capitalized.

Go ahead and fix your best effort, while we wait, Mr. True Intelligence.

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#76 Wax Man Riley
September 25 2013, 04:10PM
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smokey wrote:

Many were commenting on the terrible signing when he could of had Beniot Pouliot or Mason.raymond for less money,. What was MacT thinking signing a guy for 1.5. For every good move MacT made was an equally stupid one.

Jones does not get claimed on waivers since no team wants him for $1.5M.

He goes to OKC, works hard, gets his confidence back, and when injuries occur, there he is ready to go dig pucks out of the corner to shovel them in front of the net to nobody.

He becomes a not bad stopgap player when injuries occur. Jones once proved that he can play in the NHL.

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#77 David S
September 25 2013, 07:15PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

Totally worked for DSF though.

Some nation faithful even ask for his views on hockey.

DSF offers up a contrarian point of view and I can appreciate that. At the very least least he generates conversation. Some others, I wonder if pissing off commenters on fan sites is the best thing about their day. That's pretty sad.

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#78 Craig1981
September 25 2013, 10:33AM
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Nurse is going to be the best Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound to ever wear an Oiler's Jersey!!

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#79 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 25 2013, 10:44AM
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"I haven't seen anything from Ryan Hamilton or Ben Eager that suggests they are better NHL players than Jones, but Jones didn't have a strong camp and the Oilers do save cap space by keeping Hamilton up and sending Jones down."

If I understand the rules on "burying" contracts (one-way) in the AHL (and I probably don't), the formula outlined here:

http://www.capgeek.com/new-cba/

(see "Wade Redden Rule"):

"A one-way contract counts against the cap as follows: cap hit – [ minimum salary + $375,000 ]"

Than R Jones one-way contract, 1.5M - 900, 000 = 600, 000 which is the same as R. Hamilton's NHL salary for the year.

Jones:

http://www.capgeek.com/player/1051

Hamilton:

http://www.capgeek.com/player/1290

If Jones goes down the team pays 1.2M for both players (if Ham stays up).

If Ham goes down and Jones stays the team pays 1.8M.

With Jones going down the team saves 600,000. That will come in handy when MacT picks Penner off waivers!

Good eye JG.

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#80 Czar
September 25 2013, 10:44AM
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Craig1981 wrote:

Nurse is going to be the best Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound to ever wear an Oiler's Jersey!!

Damn I wish this kid played in The WHL, would love to see his progress first hand. A few weeks with B.Sutter and top pairing at the WJC[I hope] will be great for his development.

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#81 Lochenzo
September 25 2013, 10:50AM
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Doomoil wrote:

you're painting nicushkin as a russian diva.

he said, before the draft that he wants to play in the nhl over the khl, but those are the two options. he won't play in the ahl. considering that he was probably the most nhl ready player in the class and that any team that was going to draft him knew these things, i don't see the problem.

Ok, maybe I'm being hard on Nichuskin and he was the most talented player available at the #7 pick. The KHL is a great league, but it's not North American hockey. I'd prefer a player that is prepared to go to the AHL if he needs to take that step to adjust his game. Belov signed such a contract. Klefbom will play in the AHL to adapt his game to the smaller surface. Those are the type of guys I want, a high level of dedication to playing in the NHL.

Alex Mikhnov could never adjust his game from KHL to NHL and was unwilling to play in the AHL to help with the transition. Rajala is gone because he can make more money in Europe than in the AHL. Nichuskin carries that risk with him.

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#82 madjam
September 25 2013, 01:22PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You and me bud, we'll convert all these heathens surrounding us. It just seems counter productive to bring all these kids into camp that have zero chance of making this non playoff team.

Where the Oilers are today, roster wise, wouldn't it have been a significant benefit to have been down to this group two and a half weeks ago? Implement that new system and have the guys get use to each other. Hit the ground running as a 25 man group Oct 1st. On a team that needs every competitive advantage they can get. It appears to be a missed opportunity having all these kids with zero chance of making the club just getting in the way these last couple weeks. Looks more Gong Show than serving a functional purpose if you ask me.

The serious injury to Gagner probably insures Hopkins will be rushed back into this lineup.

Regular season hasn't started yet , but we could be in for more of the same as Tams was trying - thinking that we had good depth on the farm . I have a feeling MacT. will be proven wrong as was Tams in that regard . We had to use so many during exhibition because of the unfamiliarity the new coaches have for our players I suspect .

Labarbarra looks shaky and has not played many games last year or before . Have to wonder how well Smyth can contribute once the season starts . We are still getting outshot and outplayed in many periods beyond the first . defence may once again be a problem , and Dubbie is going to have to play great if we are to contend . Could end up being another disasterous year if injuries keep mounting . We have depth , but not quality depth .

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#83 Will
September 25 2013, 02:36PM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I think it says something about Oiler depth and talent this year that players like Omark, Lander, Jones, etc., who were able to crack the lineup in past years, aren't able to compete this year. And that Nurse isn't being rushed, but allowed to mature properly. Isn't that what everybody has been saying good teams do with their draft picks? Are the Oilers, in spite of all the naysayers, becoming that kind of team?

And yet injuries are already allowing both Arcebello and Acton to be in our opening night roster. Sure we have depth, but not in all areas.

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#84 Quicksilver ballet
September 25 2013, 03:13PM
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TigerUnderGlass wrote:
OW is just okay-hot.

Guys who say stuff like this are the same guys who would need to change their shorts if she made eye contact.

Spoken like a true visible minority...

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#85 Wax Man Riley
September 25 2013, 03:56PM
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TeamOmark wrote:

That would just about be the slowest line in the NHL. All it needs is an Omark in there somewhere to speed things up.

Actually, Brown and Eager are pretty good skaters. Omark is not an NHL player.... obviously. He has a league minimum contract (or close to it), and he just cleared waivers. that means EVERY team in the NHL had a chance to get him for nothing or next to nothing.

Yet here he is... in the AHL.

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#86 smokey
September 25 2013, 04:01PM
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Alex Mathis wrote:

I wonder why nobody is pointing towards MacT after having signed Jones to a 1.5 Million deal...that was a bad decision and a waste of money which now could have been invested in a Center. Imagine the noise if Tambellini had done that...

Many were commenting on the terrible signing when he could of had Beniot Pouliot or Mason.raymond for less money,. What was MacT thinking signing a guy for 1.5. For every good move MacT made was an equally stupid one.

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#88 God
September 25 2013, 06:52PM
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Also, Nurse's humble way of speech is seducing me. This kid speaks more eloquently at 18 than Smyth at 37. Get this kid a red carpet. He'll be the Pronger we always wanted.

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#89 Thumby
September 25 2013, 08:19PM
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If Force = mass x acceleration, what will happen to Monoghan in a couple years when a 225lb Nurse comes calling?

That kid has some kind of sweet skating action going on!

See you next year Darnell!

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#90 dougtheslug
September 25 2013, 10:59PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

Cuzer, question.... " finally turning the corner now" ?? Check out the bottom six.. barely got one legit NHL'er there.!

The depth of this team is not what you think it is. You have two centers out of the line up, and depth guy like Ladner, who has been around for a couple of years can't fill the crack, and is sent down to the AHL, only to be replaced by another AHL,er.

Bottom six by November (assuming top six is Hall, Hemsky, Smyth, RNH, Eberle, Perron), is Gordon, Yak, Joensuu, Brown,Eager, Lander, and occasionally Mac. When Gagner returns, Lander drops back.Barely one legit NHLer???Gordon, Yak, Brown and Eager have nearly 1500 NHL games between them.

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#91 Harry
September 26 2013, 09:45AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Kicking and screaming bud, kicking and screaming... one game at a time. Hard to see the Oilers stuck in neutral for so many years. In three years, after the Oil have turned the corner, there will be nothing to complain about. Instead of passing judgement on Oiler players here on ON i'll need a new hobby.

With the Oilers being the only game in town, I guess we'll just have to force ourselves to like them. Going to be another long year boys...it's good to have a place to come and vent one game at a time.

So you admit that your hobby is to be a complete goof in an online blog?

Truly sad. When this team turns the corner this season I cant wait to see you try and weasel your way back in.

You need to learn how to be a fan and not an a$$ho#e

Best of luck

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#92 Harry
September 26 2013, 09:55AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You and me bud, we'll convert all these heathens surrounding us. It just seems counter productive to bring all these kids into camp that have zero chance of making this non playoff team.

Where the Oilers are today, roster wise, wouldn't it have been a significant benefit to have been down to this group two and a half weeks ago? Implement that new system and have the guys get use to each other. Hit the ground running as a 25 man group Oct 1st. On a team that needs every competitive advantage they can get. It appears to be a missed opportunity having all these kids with zero chance of making the club just getting in the way these last couple weeks. Looks more Gong Show than serving a functional purpose if you ask me.

The serious injury to Gagner probably insures Hopkins will be rushed back into this lineup.

Wow!! You just continue to amaze me twinkle toews.

Name one team in the history of hockey that dressed their opening day lineup on day one of training camp. Get a grip!!

Furhermore, I will never let you live it down that you considered Nurse a bust after ine rookie tourney game. His developement alone tells us why we have camps.

Your knowledge of simple hockey is brutal.

The band wagon is full so after our first winning streak and then into the playoff push remember this. Your not welcome at the FANS table.

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#93 Druds
September 26 2013, 12:09PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

You and me bud, we'll convert all these heathens surrounding us. It just seems counter productive to bring all these kids into camp that have zero chance of making this non playoff team.

Where the Oilers are today, roster wise, wouldn't it have been a significant benefit to have been down to this group two and a half weeks ago? Implement that new system and have the guys get use to each other. Hit the ground running as a 25 man group Oct 1st. On a team that needs every competitive advantage they can get. It appears to be a missed opportunity having all these kids with zero chance of making the club just getting in the way these last couple weeks. Looks more Gong Show than serving a functional purpose if you ask me.

The serious injury to Gagner probably insures Hopkins will be rushed back into this lineup.

you know someone has gone over the edge when they start agreeing with Majdam...its okay QB, its not too late to get help.

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#94 VK63
September 25 2013, 10:00AM
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Gregor.

disregarding cap missmanagement, incumbency, entry level years and such things.

Did Darnell Nurses play compared to the other dmen in this camp warrant getting cut?

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#95 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 25 2013, 10:01AM
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pkam wrote:

If I remember correctly, he had a surgery late last season and is recovering so he will be on IR when season starts.

Cool...

but why would that keep him on the TC roster for the big club?

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#97 Ducey
September 25 2013, 10:28AM
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I am surprised to see Jones waived. Its not that he doesn't deserve it, its that he has a one way and Ryan Hamilton has a two way contract. Not sure I saw a lot of difference between the two.

It would be cheaper for the organization to send down Hamilton.

Hopefully the Oilers are still active on the waiver wire. There will be one or two good forwards sent down. They could grab one and ditch Eager.

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#98 Doomoil
September 25 2013, 10:40AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

The "pessimists" as you call them will continue to point to Nichuskin who is having a very good pre-season as well. There is no doubt as to Nichuskin's talent. Where there may be problems is if he gets cut from the big club or when he is negotiating a new contract. If Nichuskin doesn't get what he wants, he's prepared to go to the KHL. He's been very clear about that.

I really like Ryan Jones and I can understand why he had a tough year last year. I don't understand what's happening to him this year though. Hope he gets things going again. Joensuu has outplayed him by a mile and deserves to be here opening night.

you're painting nicushkin as a russian diva.

he said, before the draft that he wants to play in the nhl over the khl, but those are the two options. he won't play in the ahl. considering that he was probably the most nhl ready player in the class and that any team that was going to draft him knew these things, i don't see the problem.

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#100 pkam
September 25 2013, 10:58AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't think he he was better than Belov, and both have a two-way contract. We will all see players differently, but Fedun's biggest hurdle will be that he footspeed and size.

He's only had one pro season, so he has lots of time to keep developing, but with Nurse, Klefbom and Marincin all developing as well, he will need a great season and impress the organization so he gets a good look next year.

I think Nurse, Klefbom and Marincin are top 4 defense prospects, while Fedun is a 3rd pairing defense and I'll take him over Potter.

I believe once Potter is traded or his contract is up, Fedun will have a chance.

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