Job Market

With the 20 roster cuts this afternoon, the Oilers are down to a more workable number. The truth is we could probably cut this roster down ourselves (and right now) and be very close to the 23 who’ll make the grade. How many spots are open for competition? My answer is 6.

We can begin the conversation by listing all of the contracts that won’t be moved and the players who will be an integral part of the 10-11 Oilers:

  1. Nikolai Khabibulin
  2. Tom Gilbert
  3. Ryan Whitney
  4. Kurtis Foster
  5. Ladislav Smid
  6. Jim Vandermeer
  7. Dustin Penner
  8. Ales Hemsky
  9. Sam Gagner
  10. Shawn Horcoff
  11. Taylor Hall
  12. Gilbert Brule
  13. Andrew Cogliano
  14. Ryan Jones
  15. Colin Fraser
  16. Zack Stortini
  17. Steve MacIntyre

That leaves 6 roster spots open. One goalie, two defenders and three forwards. Allow me to list the 6 players I believe will fill those slots:

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  1. Devan Dubnyk
  2. Jason Strudwick
  3. Theo Peckham
  4. Magnus Pääjärvi
  5. Jordan Eberle
  6. Ryan O’Marra

I’m assuming (as Jason Gregor has been telling us for some time) that JF Jacques won’t be ready. That means all of the other TC players are fighting with the 6  names in bold for big league employment. Here are the names:

  1. Jeff Deslauriers
  2. Martin Gerber
  3. Olivier Roy
  4. Shawn Belle
  5. Taylor Chorney
  6. Alex Plante
  7. Jeff Petry
  8. Richard Petiot
  9. Johan Motin
  10. Linus Omark 
  11. Alex Giroux
  12. Liam Reddox
  13. Brad Moran
  14. Greg Stewart
  15. Ben Ondrus 
  16. Chris Vande Velde 
  17. Teemu Hartikainen
  18. Tyler Pitlick
  19. Cameron Abney

I think that is everyone. However, there are lots of  names in there without a snowball’s chance in hell of making the final cut. I have placed the strongest contenders in italics.  JDD might beat DD, Belle could win a job over either Strudiwck or Peckham, and O’Marra is such a weak option for the extra C that Omark, Giroux and Reddox are in the mix. Anyone else? If my ramblings are true, we can probably predict the next 14 cuts: Gerber, Roy, Chorney, Plante, Petry, Petiot, Motin, Moran, Stewart, Ondrus, VV, Hartikainen, Pitlick and Abney. 

Steve Tambellini’s Oilers are going to be very young, and unless they make a deal over the  next two weeks, we’re looking at (at MOST) one or two surprises at camp. Maybe Renney risks waivers for Peckham in favor of Belle, maybe the club decides Deslauriers is the man to backup Super Bowl Sunday and maybe O’Marra doesn’t win that last F slot (well, 13th ahead of MacIntyre). 

But this camp looks predictable from here. I can’t see this year’s Ryan Stone  in there. Can you? 

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  • Craig1981

    I hear some people saying it is hard for Hall, Eberle,Svensson, and Omark to all make it due to playing time and top 6 minutes or that having one of them as a 13th or 14th doesn’t get them ice time. Would it not be easy to have them rotate in and out of the lineup and play 3 out of every 4. They may only play 65-70 games that way but that would be more than any of them played last year.

  • Deep Oil

    Have the Oilers painted themselves into a corner annointing Taylor Hall a spot on the team, noting Orr his agent declined Team Canada’s invite for his client, thus technically barring Hall from the world junior if protocol is kept.

    Maybe this is a case of incubating Hall within a stone’s throw of Rexall, vs back in junior where loss of control over their asset, or an injury there would be a media debacle vs an injury in the show.

    Too quick to judge, but the buzz about Hall has transferred to MPS, noting that the development of Hall might be stagnated either way, junior to easy, nhl to hard, thus treading water.

    No quick fix – the hockey almanac says 3 – 4 more years of rebuild.

    • Ryan14

      Hall declined the invitation to focus on making the Oilers this year. that doesn’t show arrogance on the side of the Oilers, that shows dedication on the side of Hall and his camp. Something this team needs.

      What good will sending Hall to the OHL serve? He can’t develop much more there. If Renney is smart with how he handles Hall and Eberle, this can be a very successful year. Remember, we don’t have the rotating door theory when it comes to lines this year, we have a very intellectual Renney. He isn’t going to be giving Hall the toughest minutes. He’ll be sheltered and given soft minutes, which is the most you can ask a coach to do when it comes to rookies.

      If, 10 games in, Hall is struggling in the NHL, I do hope that the Oilers send him down. But if he looks comfortable, is playing his game effectively, and putting up respectable points for a rookie, there is no reason to send him down.

      • Deep Oil


        Do the Oilers have the will to send him down
        after all the hype, just to release control of their asset to a non related company, noting the drop in immediate jersey sales…. this has alternative revenue stream issues, not just burning a year of his entry level contract.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Really throws a wrench into everything, does it not?

      Is there any chance the Oil will send Pekcham to the AHL?

      If so is there any chance of both him and Belle making this team as long as Strudwick is under contract?

      Maybe they place Vandermeer on waivers or make him the pressbox man?

  • VMR

    I don’t see what the huge fuss over shawn belle is, the other depth D-man signing tambo made, Richard Petiot, had twice as many points in the AHL last year and 3 points in his ten game NHL cup fo coffee as opposed to Belle’s 1 point in as many games.

  • Deep Oil

    The only possibility I see for something unexpected happening with the roster would be a wire pick up of a veteran forward. Somebody might become available, and perhaps even at half-price on re-entries, that could fill the need for a defensive minded centre. If it’s such a gaping need on this team that O’Marra is a candidate, the odds seem good that somebody better might open up from another team.

    *Can I really say that this would be unexpected if I’m guessing it might happen?

  • Ender

    Lowetide wrote:
    “But this camp looks predictable from here. I can’t see this year’s Ryan Stone in there. Can you?”

    A career AHL player with 0 career NHL goals. I actually see a lot of guys that fit that description.

    Why does everybody love Stone so much? He was probably slower then Laraque ever was and is much slower then Stortini or Macintyre. The guy was let go for a reason.

    I hope the Oilers don’t have another Stone, because that simply means they have a very suspect AHL player on their NHL roster.

    • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

      So why was this ‘suspect’ AHL player scooped up early in the off season when people like Mike Comrie waited all summer to accept a minimum contract? I also ‘suspect’ that the managers in the NHL know a little more about the players in the NHL than you do. Unless you are a top level manager for an NHL team (madjam???) then that’s what i though.

  • MountainManMatt

    If O’marra and Peckham make the team I will be really surprised. Both are way too slow. My money is on Belle to beat out Peckham. Giroux, Omark and Reddox are all better options than O’marra. Omark and Giroux are offensive guys and considering the top six (or top nine depending on how many scoring lines you think the oilers should roll with) is looking pretty full, I’m betting Reddox will make it. Reddox’s consistency and versatility will earn him a spot.