‘Suitcase’ packs his bags for Oil City

mike-sillinger

The Oilers filled the void of Bob Mancini with Mike Sillinger, who spent 17 years in the NHL. “Suitcase” Sillinger, a nickname he earned after playing for 12 different NHL teams, will start immediately.

Here is a quote from the Oilers press release.

“We are very excited to have Mike fill such an important role with us,” said Tambellini. “We know his experience of 1,000-plus NHL games will benefit our younger players and the development of their careers.”

As a member of the Oilers Hockey Management Team, Sillinger will work closely with all Oiler draft picks in the junior, college and European ranks. He will also be working with Edmonton’s prospects in the AHL and ECHL.

Sillinger has seen action with 12 NHL clubs, most recently suiting up for the New York Islanders last year. Originally drafted 11th overall in 1990 by the Detroit Red Wings, Sillinger began his NHL career in Detroit before continuing on to play for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders.

Mancini returned to the Oilers as Development Coach in 2007, but was let go earlier this year. He was also previously a member of Edmonton’s scouting staff for four seasons between 2000-01 and 2003-04. He left the Oilers after that to become the General Manager and head coach of the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League.

Sillinger has lots of NHL experience, and should be able to help the young kids through different transitions of their career, since he moved around so often, but this is his first venture into management so we’ll how he fares in this role. I guess this ends the ridiculous rumblings yesterday that stated Jason Smith would take this job. Smith will stay in Ottawa for at least another year.

Oil tidbits

I spoke with Robert Nilsson today after his skate at the Kinsmen Arenas and he looks like he has gained a few pounds and says he feels much stronger and in much better shape than previous seasons. He changed his off-season program and spent time working with a coach every day, rather than working out by himself.

“What I used to accomplish in two hours by myself, I would get done in 20 minutes with my coach this summer. I feel much better and certain I will make a good impression from the start of camp,” said Nilsson.

What is interesting is that as we spoke Mike Comrie strolled by and didn’t talk to the media today. When I asked Nilsson if he was concerned about a player like Comrie coming into camp he replied, “Not at all. He is a good player and we all want to win, if he helps us that is great.”

What Nilsson might not know is, that if Comrie comes in he could push Nilsson out of a job. I’d rather roll the dice with Nilsson over Comrie at this points, but we’ll see.

  • SkinnyD

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    The difference – the key, most important difference – between Comrie and Nilsson is simply this:
    Robert Nilsson is under contract, and will cost something to dispose of. Mike Comrie is not under contract, and will cost something to acquire.
    If the difference in performance is not large, then the course of action is obvious in a choice between the two.

    Would it be unbelievably bad business to put Nilsson on waivers and sign Comrie? If Nilsson gets picked up, I suppose we've 'disposed' of him for nothing – but indirectly gained someone that's perhaps a step ahead and cheaper.

    I know you always want to get a return on investment, and at least get a pick. Maybe management gets forced into a move like this if Katz is forcing the Comrie thing?

  • Ender the Dragon

    @ Legion:

    Tambo didn't exactly say Comrie wasn't in the cards. He said:

    “No decisions have been made to add any player to our roster. We’ve got a full roster, we’ve got salary cap issues. Nothing’s been decided at this point.

    That's a dance around the question with a healthy sprinkling of spin. Add to this the fact that Tambo is reportedly (and justifiably) not happy with this move Katz has instrumented, and I can see why he answered the question the way he did.

  • The difference – the key, most important difference – between Comrie and Nilsson is simply this:

    Robert Nilsson is under contract, and will cost something to dispose of. Mike Comrie is not under contract, and will cost something to acquire.

    If the difference in performance is not large, then the course of action is obvious in a choice between the two.

  • Ender the Dragon

    It's been reported that Comrie was skating with a number of Oilers in pre-camp conditioning sessions. The dirt today is that it's maybe more than that. My courier just let me know that Comrie's game equipment was delivered to Rexall this afternoon. Does that signal at least a try-out? Comrie wouldn't have game equipment delivered to Rexall via courier if he was just skating with the boys, would he?

    Regarding Sillinger, I'm kind of disappointed that he won't be working more closely with the boys on the big club. In 122 face-offs with NYI last season, he went better than 58% on the dot. I wish he could teach our centers, be they Comrie or otherwise, how he did that.

  • SkinnyD

    Coprnblue wrote:

    We don’t need Comrie, another small forward is not the answer. Plus, I think, a lot of players (ie. Penner & Nilsson) are going to be turning things around under the new regime.

    Nilsson's had plenty of chances – hopefully the new coaching will help him – but ultimately a player's fate lies in his own hands.

    I'd take Comrie over Nilsson in a heartbeat right now. Of course yes..we could use some size instead – but we don't see the big picture (that hopefully management IS looking at) and perhaps there is a trade or 12 in the works for some addition by subtraction and Nilsson is halfway out the door already…

  • Woo Silly the Suitcase is coming to Etown. I can thank him in person for the run he went on a couple years ago to carry me to fantasy glory.

    As for Comrie I don't deny he's got some skills, but where is he going to fit? We seem pretty set (unfortunately) with Horcoff and Gagne down the middle on the top two lines. Comrie isn't a third or fourth line presence.

  • Hunter

    Why not spend the 1.5 M on Malhotra? Anybody know the reason we don't like him? Isn't he more of what we need in a player at this point if we're bringing somebody else in?

  • Coprnblue

    We don't need Comrie, another small forward is not the answer. Plus, I think, a lot of players (ie. Penner & Nilsson) are going to be turning things around under the new regime.