This is Chris Vande Velde. His showing at this fall’s training camp went mostly unnoticed what will all the commotion. We may one day look back on TC 2010 and remember it as the period of time when the Oilers finally saw that big center everyone was waiting for these many years. And that’s not all.

Chris Vande Velde has a wide range of abilities. Size, skill, he was splendid in the faceoff circle at the college level and he can play a gritty game. His performance in the pre-season gives all Oiler fans hope for the future. Oilers player development man Mike Sillinger had this to say: "He’s a big guy, strong guy, protects the puck really well, plays his position really well. He’s not overly flashy, but he’s very noticeable in doing the little things well. Decent on the faceoffs and, with his size (6-foot-2, 190 pounds), he’s just so big and strong in front of the net."

Tom Renney had this to say about the college man:“Chris is a guy that just pushes it forward, gets it deep and goes into the dirty areas. He’s very responsible, he understands the game and programs well.As players like him gain experience in these games, it becomes increasingly difficult to suggest why they shouldn’t be here."

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There’s been a lot of chatter today about how little was accomplished at this year’s training camp. I cannot believe my eyes. The Edmonton Oilers have introduced a generation of prospects to their fanbase this fall. The names Hall, Pääjärvi, Eberle and others will be heard rolling out over the next decade and longer. The secondary group (which includes Vande Velde) are the first to audition to become this team’s role players and the early returns are very positive.

Roster spots were somewhat predictable, but it should also be mentioned that many of the late cuts will also be the early recalls this season. Vande Velde, Belle, Petiot, Ondrus, Omark, these are the names we’ll see in 10-11 when injuries and slumps impact the main roster. This year’s training camp was a snapshot, a moment in time. No more or less important than the days when Tony Hand, Alex Henry, Fernando Pisani, Blair Barnes, Esa Tikkanen and Kevin Lowe skated their first shifts on Northlands ice.

Bored by the final roster? Give your head a shake. Print the damn thing off and hang it on the wall. Lets agree we’ll have another look at it in 10 years and decide at that time whether or not there was something to be excited about this fall. I’m betting yes.

  • Clay


    Flames fans all think Souray is crappy because of how poorly he played last season. And for some reason they forget that the year before the Oil were in the playoffs as of game 75, that they were a decent team, and that Souray was their best player who got 50 points, a plus minus in the plusses on a team in the minuses, that he fought and killed guys, that he played 25 minutes a night and was very good on the PK. He was an excellent player that year and easily the Oilers’ best player.

    If he returns to form, even without Cogs you win hands down.

    With Cogs, well I doubt Tambellini would trade a player that young with some potential just to dump Souray’s contract. To me Cogs could easily be as good as Matthew Lombardi or Mason Raymond. He is 23, has played three seasons in the NHL, scored 18 goals as a 20 and 21 year old , is as fast as they get. He is not my favourite Oiler but you don’t throw him in just to take Sarich and Glencross back as equal salary dumps…those two are enough in salary and don’t add up to half of Souray’s value IF he returns to form.

  • PerryK

    My lines:

    Cogliano – Paajarvi – Hemsky (The Need for Speed Line)
    Gagner – Penner – Eberle (The Smart Line)
    Horcoff – Hall – Brule (Protect the Kid line)
    Fraser – Jones/(SMac) – Stortini (Kill the bas**rds Line)

  • PerryK


    Souray for Glencross and Sarich would be pretty much a wash wrt cap hit.

    With Langkow being replaced by Morrison and Stajan by Conroy for a bit, they have some wiggle room.

    The third rounder from the Staios trade may be enough to offset that minor salary difference and the fact that Glencross’ salary comes off the books this year – so one year where the flames have to pay 1.5 million more than they would have with the Sarich contract.

    • D-Man

      Are you kidding? Why would we want to deal a defenseman who’s a) mean and tough to play against, b) has a monster slap shot and c) hates our organization to a division rival? Obviously, we want to get something for Souray, but come on…

      The trade you mention isn’t bad – although I’d rather be looking for a 3rd line center and a d-man like Sarich, but dealing with Calgary?? Souray is NOT Staios…

  • Sorry, I was primarily thinking of the deal of Cogliano included, the one from the media source. But even with his salary excluded I think it’s a tough deal for the Phlegms. An additional $600,000 looks like a big deal to that roster.

    My understanding of the CBA, which could well be wrong, is that LTIR is not a subtraction from the cap hit, but the amount by which you may exceed the cap for a “replacement” player. Souray, if he qualifies as a replacement, has too high a contract.

    I don’t think Sutter will want to do any deals which add to his cap hit, even with the LTIR. Any space he has to play with will be used for call ups and at the deadline (barring another blockbuster where he sheds salary).

    Then there’s the hullabaloo he’s already been through for past cap issues; that’s probably not something he’d enjoy going through again.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Just throwing this out there:

    All summer their was lots of chatter that a decent (but overpaid) bottom pairing Dman would be a decent return for Souray (Common name was Commodore).

    Theirs also been talk that people would be interested in moving Cogs for a solid, proven 3rd liner with size. Typically the focus on a center…. but still. (Brownlee suggested Steekle… who’s more of a 4th liner… and I think this was pre-10 goal Cogs)

    Now we don’t want to trade Souray/Cogs for a decent bottom pairing dman and a proven 3rd liner with size?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      I don’t really see Cogs as a throw in, no one takes Souray for free. So why on earth should we get 2 NHL’er for him?

      I’m looking at them as seperate deals.

      Forget the names of the players coming back, what could we realistically hope for Souray? (lets keep in mind that this guy has been passed over twice… for free. He clearly has negative value.)

      Overpaid 3rd pairing dman sounds about right.

      What could we realistically expect back for Cogs?

      Proven 3rd liner with some size and a bit of a scoring touch sounds about right.

      I’ll throw it back to you, do you think we could get more (individually) for either Souray or Cogs?

      I’ll agree on the DP though, my initial reaction was that we shouldn’t have to top up with a 3rd… that said 3rds are thrown around by GM’s all the time, so I don think they are as valuable as alot of people do.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        This is a better team with GlenX on the 3rd line and Sarich in the bottom pairing then it is with Cogs on the 3rd line and either Peckham or Strudwick in the bottom pair.

  • Oilers4ever

    I totally don’t like the Calgary deal… why would you make a team in your division better.. because in my mind.. the Oilers lose this trade… people called Souray a Pylon… I gotta think that Sarich is even worse… I always liked Glencross… hated when the Oil didn’t sign him and he ended in Calgary… maybe Regheyr… I still like the Rangers deal I proposed yesterday..