Joey Moss Cup

 

The Joey Moss is an annual rite of fall, a chance to watch the town team as a family and honor the organization’s finest: Joey Moss.

If hard work, dedication and loyalty have any place in today’s busy world, then surely Joey Moss is a shining example for all of us. A past winner of the Oilers "7th Man Award" and a very popular Edmontonian. One of the enduring memories for this fan from from 2006 spring was seeing Moss belt out the anthem before every game. It became part of the story, part of the emotion during a welcome romp to the Staney Cup finals. Oiler fans of any age feel a special connection with Moss: he’s been there every minute with us–through good times and bad–and delivered. New employees would do well to copy the work ethic and dedication displayed by the Oilers finest.

Moss has given over 25 years of his life to the Oilers, and for many fans (my children included) is the most popular member of the entire organization. In a city crushed by disappointment on the sports pages in the last few years, Joey Moss remains the same today as he was 25 year ago: a winner.

Ryan Smyth returns today in Oiler silks, and that will be an emotional moment for Oiler fans. An entire general of Oilers Nation views Smyth as their icon, their Messier, their Gretzky, their Weight. His welcome home should bring down the house this afternoon.

ROSTERS (courtesy Oilers website)

TEAM BLUE*

23 Linus Omark – 93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – 91 Magnus Paajarvi
28 Ryan Jones – 68 Tyler Pitlick – 46 Ryan Keller
75 Antti Tyrvainen – 67 Gilbert Brule – 51 Philippe Cornet
16 Darcy Hordichuk – 42 Ryan O’Marra – 37 Lennert Petrell

13 Cam Barker – 77 Tom Gilbert
41 Taylor Chorney – 86 Kirill Tulupov
87 David Musil – 81 Taylor Fedun
78 Martin Gernat – 48 Alex Plante

30 Olivier Roy
38 David LeNeveu

 
Interesting lineup in many ways. RNH gets the two Swedes today, an "all puck skills" line that should dazzle at today’s event. Pitlick in the middle on the 2line is interesting (the Oilers have always said they see him as a C and it looks like that will be his position) and Petrell on 4line RW is probably not a good sign even though it’s early.
 
Barker-Gilbert could be an opening night pairing, and the third pairing is worth watching too. Musil may be more advanced as a hockey player than you’d expect from a 2nd round pick in the most recent draft and I think he’ll be a player to watch over the next few days.
 
The goaltending tandem is an eye opener. I would suggest that Roy is #5 on the depth chart and LeNeveu is an OKLA CITY signing and #4 on the depth chart. This team could be challenged in net today.
 
 

TEAM WHITE*

4 Taylor Hall – 57 Anton Lander – 14 Jordan Eberle
94 Ryan Smyth – 20 Eric Belanger – 56 Teemu Hartikainen
55 Ben Eager – 54 Chris VandeVelde – 61 Tobias Rieder
60 Tanner House – 66 Ryan Martindale – TBA

5 Ladislav Smid – 24 Theo Peckham
25 Andy Sutton – 44 Corey Potter
80 Martin Marincin – 88 Brandon Davidson
82 Jeremie Blain – 58 Jeff Petry

34 Yann Danis
1 Tyler Bunz

 
A nice push for Lander today, getting the two phenoms on each wing. The 2line should be fun, Jason Gregor told me yesterday that Hartikainen lost some weight and has more jump this fall. Martindale in the lineup is a good sign, as he was injured after making a wonky hit in Penticton.
 
On the blue, the Smid-Peckham tandem should have everyone keeping their head up, and Sutton-Potter is a combination we could see sometime this winter on the big club. I’ll be watching Marincin-Davidson closely, that duo could represent a lot of the Oilers future. I wouldn’t put too much into Petry’s being an extra pairing, suspect he’ll play quite a bit this fall and get every chance to show his stuff.
 
The goaltending looks a little stronger on this side, with Danis the de facto OKC starter and Bunz the better of the prospects. This team has Ryan Smyth on it, so will no doubt be the crowd favorite (if there is one).

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Two years ago, the Oilers dumped this game because Pat Quinn wanted to institute some new systems and training camp time was dear. I didn’t understand that–why not just start TC a day early–and the hockey Gods agreed, making certain the Oilers finished 30th two seasons in a row.

Smyth is back, the Joey Moss Cup will be handed out this afternoon and Edmonton can welcome back the Oilers for another long (and hopefully fun) winter.

It begins.