These Dreams of You

I dreamed you paid your dues in Canada, and left me to come through

I headed there right away, I knew exactly just what to do

These dreams of you, so real and so true

-Van Morrison
 

This is Teemu Hartikainen. He’s among the very best rookies in the American Hockey League. His 15 goals and 34 points rank him 7th among AHL rookies, and several of the men ranked ahead of him are older prospects (college men like Colin Greening). I don’t know if playing in the NHL has been a lifelong dream for Hartikainen, but every athlete wants to play at the highest level and the young Finn is right on the cusp of being called to the show.

With the NHL trade deadline approaching, several OKC Barons might be getting a phonecall next Monday (28th is the deadline). Here are the likely candidates for a post-deadline recall:

  • D Jeff Petry: Lost his confidence with the Oilers after a fine run, he’s been splendid since being sent out (2gp, 0-1-1 +3) and is extremely likely to be get a phonecall.
  • C Ryan O’Marra: The current group at center in the NHL is Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano and Reddox (with Fraser a recent HS). If the Oilers make a move here and need a center for a depth line, O’Marra could get the call.
  • D Shawn Belle: He’s not scoring at all now, suspect Belle is no longer a big PP option (a large percentage of  a defenseman’s offense comes from time on the PP). If the Oilers are considering him for next season they may want to get a look at him in the last 15 games.
  • C Milan Kytnar: A long shot (what with O’Marra in the way and the NHL team 5 deep at C) but he’s played well and moved up the depth chart in a big way. The organization may want to reward him with a cup of Joe.
  • C Chris Vande Velde: A long season enters the stretch run and there are some encouraging signs for the big man. In the last 3 AHL games for OKC, VV is 2-0-2 +2 (although one of those goals was an EN). The organization may feel a quick look-see for the older prospect might ignite something for next season. He’s too old to be struggling in the AHL.
  • D Alex Plante: One gets the feeling that Plante has not impressed the coach at times this season, but he’s a big man learning a tough trade. In his last 9 games he’s 0-2-2 +3 and anecdotal evidence (Geowal liked him at the Heat game in CGY) tells us he’s playing well. Plante got a 4 game cup of coffee a year ago, he might get a similar look this season.

Candidates for trade from the big club include Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Jim Vandermeer, Ladislav Smid and others. The return in many cases will be picks and in others not-ready-for-NHL prospects. For the 6 men I’ve listed here, it might be a chance to have their dream come true.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I really hope Tambby signs Hemsky long term, because right now he IS the Oilers best player IMO, and as a die hard fan of the team im tired of seein the likes of Gretzky, Messier,Weight, Guerin,Smyth leave for lack of bling or whatever reason management shoves down our throats. It would be nice to see a guy get drafted as a OILER, have a pretty good career as a OILER, AND RETIRE AN OILER, yes the cap era does hinder that to a point but when a team has 13mil in cap space and a bunch of dead weight soon to be off the books in the next couple yrs Id rather resign Hemsky to a Horcoff contract than trade him for an “up and comer” and a pick, why? because we KNOW what we get in Hemsky, with a prospect and a pick we dont. Penner on the other hand im not sold on keeping him long term sure he can net 30 goals/season but he can disapear just as easily, if the Oilers can get what the Lafs got for Versteeg Id trade Penner in a second. Besides keeping Hemsky til he’s in his mid 30s or retires an Oiler might just go a long way in retaining the likes of Hall, Eberle, and PRV til they’re in their mid 30’s too. KEEP HEMSKY!!!!

  • Hemmertime

    @lowetide
    My god, get creative. It didnt bother me until a few articles ago when that douche pointed it out. Opening all your articles with “This is…” is starting to grate my nerves too now. It sounds like you are introducing a poor African child you want me to sponsor.

      • Hemmertime

        Don’t get how me not reading it would make you better off… unless now that his openings have been pointed out to you they start to annoy you. I had no problem with them until the comment a few articles ago, now I can’t not notice it. It’s something any grade 6 english teacher wouldn’t allow.

        I know its not creative writing 101 but just seems to lack effort.

    • Lowetide

      I think the Oilers will be careful, but there’s also a chance a player like Omark or even Fraser will be going the other way (to OKC).

      Brule is almost ready.

  • m_kennedy13

    Great post as always LT.

    I was at the Barons Heat game the other night and just have a few comments.

    Petry is a beast. He’s above the competition down there, and it’s really not close. He was calm, made NHL caliber first passes, and was throwing his body around. Loved his game.

    Belle didn’t play. Not sure why he wasn’t there, but he wasn’t.

    Plante is a big kid. Played solid D. The guy isn’t going to put up numbers, but we desperately need a kid like him to develope into a top 4 shutdown guy.

    Arcobello. Who? The guy is a ’88 birthday so still very young. He’s a small winger who has wheels. Looked outstanding and should be watched for the remainder of the season to see what he can do now that he’s up in the AHL.

    Giroux, the guy just isn’t at the NHL level. He needs to work on a lot of aspects in his game.

    Stortini seemed to be getting into the middle of scrums. Not sure if he was the one trying to start it, or if members of the Heat wanted to prove themselves against an NHLer, but I would suspect the later.

    Last but not least Kotalik. What happened to this guy? Not even the great Gordon Bombay could teach him how to receive a pass right now, even if he had 100 eggs. He was downright brutal and deserves to be in the AHL. Sad to see.