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."

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.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    all of a sudden Sutter and Tambolini are bff’s lol, but seriously i hope they dont do that trade. Sarich is more washed up than Souray IMO and where would the Oilers put Glencross in the line-up? Now if ST can fleece Sutter again like he did in the Staios trade(3rd rounder) say Souray for their 1st or Iginla then maybe.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Well to me souray and the lames’ third from the staios trade for glencross and sarich makes sense to me for both sides. Evens up the money this year and the third rounder offsets the money for next year.

    While i can live with trading Cogliano somewhere, if he turns into Matthew Lombardi for calgary i will puke.

    • Wanyes bastard child

      I think to me it would depend on what Sarich is like in the dressing room, I heard that the Calgary dressing room wasn’t the most hospitable of sorts last year, tho that situation has been solved?


  • Lowetide

    Esa: I hadn’t read it. Straight up? I like Glencross and he could certainly help this team. Sarich is the poison pill to make the money work?

    Yeah, I would do it. But Souray can’t play Thursday night. 🙂

      • You do know the rumor is Souray, Cogliano & a draft choice (maybe the 3rd rounder the Flames gave them in the Staios trade?) for Sarich & Glencross (and perhaps another salary dump), right? Even if it were just Souray & Cogliano for Sarich & Glencross… still yes please?

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          Hmmmm, that’s tougher.

          I do like Sarich though (as a bottom pairing guy) and was hoping we’d swap O’sully for Sarich rather then for JV)

          Tough call, if you get a healthy, motivated Souray Flamers probably kill that trade. If you get 50 games (over the next 2 years) then we obviously win.

          I’d do Sarich for Souray straight up

          Call it a push I guess.

  • Lowetide

    WBC: Yeah, agreed. Eberle displayed all kinds of positives, I think we’re going to enjoy him a lot this season (he just gets it).

    I’d be okay with Horcoff-Eberle if they had a veteran LW to go with them. Not as a hard match tough minutes line, but that kind of line would do okay all by itself imo.

    No matter how you slice it, the Oilers are going to have two soft lines and imo Renney is going to run that top 9 ragged.

  • Lowetide

    Who the frack is Linus Omark? I mean if anyone was flat out robbed, it was (incredulously) Liam Reddox. Besides, why have Omark on the roster just to ride the pine, that kind of skill needs to be displayed. What I really know (and I will wait for tomorrow’s deadline) is why we still have 3 goalies? Do we have any reason to believe this is linked to Souray?

  • Lowetide

    DN: Well, since you asked. 🙂

    I’d run them like this (C-LW-RW)

    Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky (tough mins)
    Gagner-Hall-Eberle (soft parade)
    Fraser-Pääjärvi-Brule (2ndary toughs)
    Cogliano-Jones-Stortini (energy)

    The Fraser line would get killed, but that Gagner line should smoke. The top line is most certainly good enough to outscore other top drawer NHL lines.

    But that isn’t the way it is going to happen.

    • Seein as that’s the way you would run them but you don’t think Renney will, how do you think he will run the lines?

      Personally I like



      and then I agree with your 3rd and fourth.

    • Wanyes bastard child

      Im hoping we see the Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky combo at least a few times this season but as you stated it probably won’t happen.

      I didn’t catch all the pre-season games but it seemed to me that Eberle had instant chemistry with whomever he played with, including Gagner and Hall so that could be a decent line for soft minutes.

      Personally I think we are going to see alot of the “MacT blender” this year in the top 9.

  • DimebagDave

    No, if this is rebuild year then let Omark and VV play for Oilers and let them grow together with Hall and Co and who cares about playoffs this year, but maybe they will be good enough to make it!

  • Lowetide

    No, if this is rebuild year then let Omark and VV play for Oilers and let them grow together with Hall and Co and who cares about playoffs this year, but maybe they will be good enough to make it!

  • Lowetide

    I think it’ll be just as exciting to read about the kids in Springfield and all over the CHL plus Europe.

    For example:

    Curtis Hamilton Saskatoon WHL
    5gp, 2-4-6 +1

    • 9 Inches Uncut

      Hamilton is playing on the top line with Viedensky and Nicholls and they do look dangerous.

      Only blemish for Hamilton this year was the benching he received when the Blades got pasted by Brandon 7-0. Doesn’t sound like anyone played well in that one.

  • Just caught the end of gregor saying something like souray for glencross?? What was the rest of that rumoir? If true the oil wd have to take back more salary…staios? Sarich?

    • Moop

      Spector recently posted an article on the Sportsnet site speculating that Souray + Cogliano + Picks for Sarich + Glencross might make sense for the Oilers. (

      Then Darren Dreger said this on Twitter: “Sarich is low on depth chart, but I’m told the Flames have had no discussions with the Oil about Souray or Cogliano.”

      Then Tencer said this (also on Twitter): “According to @DarrenDreger the Flames haven’t had discussions with Oilers re: Souray. For whatever it’s worth, I’ve heard different.”

      EDIT: And Tencer added this later: “I happen to think that his speculation is based on some foundation…I’ve heard increasing rumblings of late around this.”

  • DimebagDave

    now that i actually read the post, i still woo hoo. i’m extremely excited for this season. here’s hoping for a ton of 5-4, 5-3, 4-3 losses for us and another lottery pick. 10/11 is gonna be an exciting season.