HOW MANY JOBS IN PLAY?

Lowetide
September 07 2013 10:49AM

As we ready ourselves for training camp 2013, it seems to me there a more jobs in play at this year's training camp. Craig MacTavish added so many defensemen this summer there's a major question about the 6-7-8 slots, and there are a lot of wingers hanging around, too. Add those things to the major need (center) and we're probably looking at a more fluid TC than we've seen in recent seasons. There's competition this year!

THE WAIVER WIRE

In most training camps, Oilers management makes their roster choices with an eye to waiver eligibility. If a player is eligible to be sent down without fear of waiver loss, the brass needs to be blown away by your performance before risking another player. I would argue Edmonton has gone overboard in this regard, to the point of protecting players whose value doesn't reach the level of waiver worry, but that's an easy argument to make from the comfort of my computer screen.

This season's Oilers roster might look like this as we enter camp (23 total)

  • Goal (2): Devan Dubnyk, Jason LaBarbera
  • Defense (8): Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Andrew Ference, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Denis Grebeshkov, Phil Larsen, Corey Potter
  • Center (4): Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner, Boyd Gordon, Anton Lander
  • Left Wing (4): Taylor Hall, David Perron, Ryan Smyth, Jesse Joensuu
  • Right Wing (5): Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Mike Brown

Non-roster Exempt from waivers: D Anton Belov, C Will Acton, C Andrew Miller

I think that's correct, please shout out if I have something wonky. Guys like Lander and Yakupov (and baby Nuge) are also exempt from waivers, and in the case of Lander that's an interesting item and perhaps leaves him vulnerable.

In the previous regime, we'd see Edmonton keep 8 defenders, send down Belov and avoid any waiver worries. The roster would be set not so much on ability or roster needs, but on eligibility. That happens often with rebuilding teams, and certainly has been a staple of Edmonton's decision making process for over a decade (Glen Sather's waiver lists were always good for a shock or surprise).

HOW MANY RUSSIANS?

I think Belov and Grebshkov both have a very good chance to make the team. Belov as a puck moving option who might be a brilliant signing if he can make the jump, and Grebeshkov as a trusted hand and mentor for young Nail Yakupov. This assumes Grebeshkov's skills haven't eroded since he left the NHL, but he's young enough for this to be a reasoable bet.

If my prediction holds true, it means there will be 8D opening night and that Nick Schultz, Phil Larsen or Corey Potter may be traded or exposed to waivers.

HOW MANY CENTERMEN?

I think the club likely has only 4 center's to start the season (the 4C job is probably either Lander's or Acton's) but we shouldn't be surprised if Ryan Smyth moves to the middle. Also, despite RNH's recent appearances showing he has all his fingers and toes, Bob McKenzie feels Taylor Hall may play some center this season.

McKenzie may be working off old information, but could in fact have some new intel that inspired last night's tweet. Hall at center is an interesting idea, the depth chart would look much different (C-L-R):

  • Hall-Perron-Eberle
  • Nuge-Smyth-Hemsky
  • Gagner-Omark-Yakupov

You don't have to thank me, I know you love it! Hall moving to center gives this team scary depth and quality up the middle if it works. IF. IT. WORKS.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I think coach Dallas Eakins will have tremendous leeway when it comes to roster decisions. It's time to roll. If the correct roster set means exposing Corey Potter or Ryan Jones to waivers, I believe the Oilers will do it. We're long since past the days of fretting over the fringe players.

How many jobs in play? Five: 4C, 3L, 4L, 6D, 7D, and there's an entire infrantry division lined up trying to win the jobs.

That's a good thing.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 pkam
September 08 2013, 11:03AM
Trash it!
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Jay Gray wrote:

I'm just gonna trash everything DSF posts from now on, regardless of content. I'm assuming I'm not the only one

Why? It is just a waste of your time. Better skip his posts and move on.

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#52 Quicksilver ballet
September 08 2013, 11:14AM
Trash it!
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Sure looks like the kids really like their new prop buttons.

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#53 Spydyr
September 08 2013, 11:24AM
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hemi wrote:

I have been a fan of this Team, City, Province since I moved here many a year ago from the Rock. I was crazy happy when we joined the NHL in 79. I could not wait to cheer for the Mighty Oil to beat the two teams, (Habs & Laffs) that I grew up hating. As a young fella, I cheered for the Hawks and still to this day, I have a soft spot for that team.

Kool-Aid or not, I love this team and have so since day one! Good, Bad and plain Ugly...still my team.

The heck with the negative nellies that post far too often on this site. It has become very obvious that your negativism is part of your personal traits.

I believe in the Oil and as much as I have been disappointed at times, I will never totally give up on this team. It has been difficult for that last 7 or so years (a few more ahead of us as well) but if push comes to shove, I will wear my Oilers Colours with as much pride as I had when they just joined the league. My son and daughter (both adults now) share the same pride even though they have no actual memories of the Glory Days.

I love the Oil and with that, GO OIL GO!

Great post. I agree with everything you say and still wear my Oilers colors.

The difference between me and you is:

I cannot be lead down the path of ineptitude any longer without airing my grievances with the team's upper management.

GO OIL GO!!!

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#54 Oliveoiler
September 08 2013, 04:52PM
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Good grief - are you all Oilers' fans or what???? Corey Potter is NOT a loser, his stats prove this and his shot is lethal. We have ALL the tools to begin a new dynasty, we just need to mesh together. As for a new captain?? Well, as much as I respect Andrew Ferrance, I truly believe a loyal Oiler such as Gagner/Hemsky or Smid would be great. Give the kids an "A" - their chance will come. Dubnyk is as good if not better than Crawford - give him some back-up and see what happens. The world is our oyster - embrace it, enjoy it and CHEER FOR YOUR TEAM FOR GOD'S SAKE.

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#55 Hammers
September 08 2013, 10:57PM
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I won't be surprised to see 9 "D" with 1 on injured list untill a trade can be made .Also give Omark a better chance to make it here or be picked off waiver wire .If Hall goes to center Omark stays and either he or Yak goes to "L" wing .You don't show Omark on 1st list but do later .

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