The Oilers and Flames will wrap up their young stars tournament tonight, and for the second straight year the Oilers won’t be playing their first overall pick against the Flames. Last year, Hall didn’t face Flames and tonight Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will sit in the stands, and many people who cover the Flames think it’s a "cheap" move.

The Oilers choose when Nugent-Hopkins plays, but I don’t think it is  coincidence that the first overall pick won’t be facing the Flames. It’s just a small little dig at their provincial rivals.


It sounds like the majority of the kids at this camp will find themselves on the ice Saturday morning at Rexall Place. Last year every player got an invite to main camp, and look for that to continue with an official announcement coming after the game.

This morning Steve Tambellini was asked  why he hasn’t brought a veteran D-man to camp on  Professional Tryout (PTO)?

"I don’t want guys like Tuebert, Chorney and Petry coming to camp thinking they can’t make this team. I want them to feel that they have a legitimate shot to make the team."

If one of them plays well enough you can expect Andy Sutton to spend a few more nights in the pressbox. If they don’t play well, Tambellini is confident he can still go out and sign an free agent veteran D-man. In theory this thinking makes sense, however, unless one of Petry or Chorney are playing regularly I’d rather see them in the AHL for another season. I didn’t mention Tuebert, because I don’t think he is close this year. Next year I think he’ll be ready to legitimately push for a spot.


Unlike previous years, the first day of camp won’t be open to the public. You will be able to get a sneak preview of Taylor Hall, Ryan Smyth, Nugent-Hopkins and more on Sunday during the Joey Moss Cup. The Moss Cup goes at 2 p.m. on Sunday and tickets are available at the Oilers website.

Last year the first day of camp wasn’t filled with scrimmages, instead Tom Renney had his team learning his system, but that won’t be the case this year. Renney told me earlier today (Interview Here) that he won’t be implementing a completely new system. There will be some minor changes of course, but Renney made it clear he won’t have as many rookies as last year, thus he expects his team to be more accountable on the ice.

Outside of Nugent-Hopkins I don’t see any raw rookies making the team. My surprise player will be forward Lennart Petrell. The Oilers signed the 6’3" free agent to a one-year deal this summer. He brings a bit of an edge to his game, is solid on his skates and will give the Oilers a bit of grit. I could see him being one of the extra two forwards when camp breaks.


Nugent-Hopkins won’t dress, but you will see Anton Lander for the second time. Here’s the lineup.

Curtis Hamilton (2nd round, 2010) – Tyler Pitlick (2nd, 2010) – Antti Tyrvainen (FA, played in Finland, 22)
Phillippe Cornet (5th, 2009) – Anton Lander (2nd, 2010) – Tobias Rieder (4th, 2011)
Drew Czerwonka (6th, 2011) – Colin Smith (FA, plays for Kamloops, 18) – Cam Abney (3rd, 2009) 
Brett Ferguson (FA, played in Red Deer, 21) – Chase Schaber (FA, Kamloops, 20) – Toni Rajala (4th, 2009)

Brandon Davidson (6th, 2010) – David Musil (2nd, 2011)
Wes Vannieuwenhuizen (FA, Vancouver, 19) – Jeremie Blain (4th, 2010)
Martin Marincin (2nd, 2010) – Tyler Schmidt (FA, played in Tri City, 21)

Adam Brown (FA, plays in Kelowna, 20)

Musil and Davidson is clearly the best pairing and they’ve both played well. Of all the 2010 picks here, I think Davidson is the most improved of the bunch. To be fair he had had the most room to improve, but he has in incredible shape, he tested the highest of all the rookies, and he is more solid on his skates.

The Flames’ gameday write up on their site suggests the boys in Red could be fired up tonight.

The Flames will be going with a veteran-laden lineup tonight against the undefeated Oilers. Lance Bouma, Greg Nemisz, John Negrin, TJ Brodie and Mitch Wahl will all be suiting up for Calgary’s final game of the tournament.

All five played on Sunday against the Sharks and Ward wasn’t impressed with what they brought to the ice that.

"I didn’t like the fact that they assumed they were going to go where they left off," he said. "They didn’t prepare well enough mentally. For me, it wasn’t a physical thing on Sunday. We obviously got close to 40 shots and pretty much dominated the first two periods. But I didn’t think we were mentally engaged."

Hoepfully we see an intense game tonight.

    • book¡e

      Yes, but you have to be at the doors by 9:15 AM to get in. You also have to bring a pumpkin to donate and you need to wear chaps or they won’t let you in.

  • O.C.

    Lander plays one game – outstanding – no one thinks he has a chance to break in the lineup, even as #13 forward?

    Or… maybe he gets in on game 10?

    Ahhh, I can’t believe I fell into the “keep RNH or send him down trap” without at least seeing him play in later exhibition games, let alone reg season.

    I remember last year, the kids looked all world early. The last couple of exhibition games, the opponents had less pylons, and it was clear they weren’t going to be first team all stars in their rookie year.

    • Jason Gregor

      Lander has option of the AHL and RNH doesn’t that is the big difference between the two. Also Lander will benefit long term from some seasoning in the AHL. No need to rush him. If RNH isn’t ready then send him to junior. Same thing, no need to rush him.

      • O.C.

        Expect he will have to be in the A for the first 9 games at least.

        If RNH is sent back, then maybe…

        But, I’m betting he gets a few sniffs and he’s back for good by A/S Break.

  • dawgbone98

    TreenasOil Tracy Lane
    Bryan McCabe is talking to the Oilers about signing a try out deal. Should sign by Friday. Flames are also interested. As per Garfield
    21 minutes ago

  • Jason Gregor


    The 7th D spot is interesting, in that I think we can reasonably get a read into how management is looking to balance development with trying their best to make the playoffs by icing the best lineup they possibly can. If it’s true the organization is particularly motivated to make the playoffs, it seems kind of strange to me that they wouldn’t look to make the team as deep and strong as possible – what’s the harm in adding another D that would push all your prospects down the depth chart? If anyone should be aware that injuries are inevitable, it’s the Oilers and their fans.

    I don’t know exactly how many man games the Oilers should expect to lose on D from their current top 6 D this year, but I would guess it’s enough that even if they picked up a guy like Campoli, or had picked up a Hannan, they’d still get a number of games for the prospects they want a look at?

  • Little Buttcheeks

    I love how the Flames send out all of their best players and we sit a few key guys and they call us “cheap” for disrespecting them. We’re still taking it to them except on the scoreboard.

  • Shaun Doe

    He did seem to play well for a goalie most of us have never heard of. The first period looked as if Calgary was just a bigger more physical team but I’m not sure how the hits for and against actually tallied out. But it didn’t look like Calgary was letting the Oil win many puck battles thats for sure

  • OutDoorRink

    No disrespect meant towards the Flames by not playing the Nuge. Oh who am I kidding. We just don’t like you Flames. You’re all like, ‘We’ve got Stephen Ave. Mall and you don’t”, which is really pretty rude.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    “I don’t want guys like Tuebert, Chorney and Petry coming to camp thinking they can’t make this team. I want them to feel that they have a legitimate shot to make the team.”

    I don’t agree with this. Why does inviting a guy on a PTO automatically mean these guys can’t make the team? Did someone get discouraged when Anson Carter was invited a few years back? What happens when you realize that 2 of those 3 guys aren’t NHL ready and you have other d-men injured in the lineup?

  • Bob Cobb

    Things Tambo has said this week:

    “I don’t want guys like Tuebert, Chorney and Petry coming to camp thinking they can’t make this team. I want them to feel that they have a legitimate shot to make the team.”

    “If you’re a centre, and you see eight centremen on the depth chart who are skilled and who want to play, that’s pressure,” he continued. “You have to be able to able to handle that. That’s how you get better.”

    Is anyone else as confused as I am?

  • OutDoorRink

    I think that he’s trying to say that he wants the lads to feel like they’re NHLers. Or something along those lines. Really, it’s just encouragement don’t you think?