GDB -1: WAIVER WIRE OR THE PHONE?

Preseason victories don’t mean much, but last night’s victory over Minnesota had to be one of the most empty victories the organziation has ever had. Taylor Fedun’s season is over, and his career possibly in jeapordy, after a horrific collision fractured his femur. It is hard to fathom why the NHL didn’t institute hybrid icing this off-season, because Fedun’s injury was the exact reason why many wanted the rule tweaked.


I spoke to many players last season and this summer about changing the rule and all of them were in favour of the hybrid rule. Many people want to blame the league for not changing the rule, but keep in mind the NHLPA has to agree to it. Many players tweeted last night that they want the rule changed, but how many of them told their player rep to get on the phone and demand a change?

Mathieu Schneider should be calling Rob Blake today and demanding the league change the rule ASAP. I’m not one for kneejerk reactions to change, but I’ve yet to see or read any article that shows why they need to keep no-touch icing in the game.

Some state it will cause too many whistles, but I doubt it. Please show me how many times a forward wins a tight race to negate icing in a game. Even if it happens once or twice a game, that is only two extra whistles. I’ve see many cases where the forward arrives far ahead of the D-man to keep the play alive, but the hybrid rule would allow those plays to stay in the game.  

Let’s hope the NHL and the NHLPA realize that,and make a change before the start of the season.

MAKE A CALL?

I didn’t think Fedun was going to make the team, but he showed he would be a viable call up in case of an injury, and hopefully we see him back on the ice next year. The Oilers also lost Taylor Chorney and Ladislav Smid last night. No official word on the extent of their injuries, but I wonder if Steve Tambellini will be looking for another D-man. He’s stated numerous times he wanted to give the young guys a chance to play, but he might need some more depth.

Smid injured his shoulder, while Chorney tweaked his knee. They could be ready for the season opener, or maybe they are out for a month.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have nine D-men they think are NHL ready. We can argue over the validity of that, but seven of them are 26 and under: Dion Phaneuf (26), Matt Lashoff (25), Cody Franson (24), Carl Gunnarsson (24), Keith Aulie (22), Luke Schenn (21) and Jake Gardiner (21). Would Brian Burke be interested in moving one of them?

The Oilers might just wait and see who they can pluck of waivers. They have first dibs on waiver claims and there will be a D-man or two they could pick up without having to give up anything.

LINEUP

The Oilers didn’t skate in Vancouver this morning, but we know that Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will dress. Nikolai Khabibulin will start in goal and Tom Gilbert, Andy Sutton, Theo Peckham, Cam Barker, Cory Potter and Jeff Petry are the only healthy D-men so they are in. I’ll be curious to see if Renney goes with close to his opening night roster, or if he’ll dress have an array of  the "Bubble Boys" fill out the bottom six.

The Canucks will dress a veteran squad:

D.Sedin – H. Sedin – Burrows
Sturm – Hodgson – Samuelsson
Higgins – Malhotra – Hansen
Volpatti – Lapierre -Oreskovich

Hamhuis – Bieksa
Salo – Edler
Tanev – Ballard

Luongo

Tonight’s game is on CBC.

QUICK HITS

  • Anton Lander played very well last night, but I’d still send him to OKC to start the year. He played just under 18 minutes, but Horcoff, Nugent-Hopkins and Gagner weren’t dressed. He won’t play that many minutes in the regular season, so send him to OKC and let him dominate there for 30-40 games.
     
  • Linus Omark had another solid perfomance. If he can find some consistency he might get 45 points.
     
  • Peckham had his best game of the preseason. They will need to him to play as well as he did last year, maybe even a bit better, to be competitive come March.

FINAL FOUR

There is only four spots left for the first off many ULTIMATE FAN road trips that we in the Nation along with The Jason Gregor Show and NewWest Travel will be putting together. Here’s a quick run down of the trip.

You’ll watch the Oilers take on the Hawks at the Madhouse in Madison on Nov 13th, and then we rent a luxury coach and tailgate our way to Lambeau to watch the Packers and Vikings on Monday Night.

  • Return non-stop flight departing Friday Nov 11
  • 4 nights at the 4 star Marriott Magnificent Mile – close to great nightlife, shopping and restaurants
  • Welcome reception on Friday night
  • Tickets to see Oilers/Blackhaws Nov 13th – lower bowl corner seats
  • Tickets to see Packers/Vikings Nov 14th – 15 yard line rows 1-25 (seats will be in pairs or fours)
  • Pre game party at the Brett Farve Restarant in Green Bay, includes all your beer, wine and food
  • Return charter bus from Chicago to Green Bay
  • Airport transfers


Tour price
Double Occupancy $2170 (two in a room)
Single $2670

For reservations and more information contact NewWest Travel: 

780-432-7446 | 1 800-661-7281
email: newwesttravel@shawbiz.ca

(There is also Bears/Lions game on Sunday afternoon prior to Oiler/Hawks game that we can get tickets for if anyone is interested in a double header on Sunday.)