It has been a splendid summer, it has been a fascinating few months for Oiler fans. And as much as I love the hot sun, the coastal humidity and the mosquitoes that have grown to the size of Black Hawk helicopters, it is time. Time, boys. It is time.
I find myself spending early August thinking about the beautiful game of hockey. My dear friend Louise has agreed to meet me for at least one day of coffee and muffins (she brings both) while watching the boys of winter at the first days of Oilers training camp, and my wife and kids have promised they’ll join me at the Joey Moss. Plus there’s pre-season, the Oil Kings are just around the corner and Nail Yakupov will play in the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge in Yaroslavl and Halifax, N.S. August 9th to 14th.
My hatred of Calgary is gaining momentum and my spider senses tell me we should be on the lookout for turning leaves and cooler temperatures.
HOW HIGH CAN THEY FLY?
The Oilers have done some things, focusing specifically on the future (Nail, Justin Schultz). They might add during August but as things stand now the roster might look like this:
- C: Nuge, Gagner, Horcoff, Belanger
- L: Hall, Nail, Smyth, Eager, Hordichuk
- R: Hemsky, Eberle, Jones, Petrell, Hartikainen
- D: Smid-Petry, Whitney-Schultz, Sutton-Schultz, Peckham
- G: Dubnyk, Khabibulin
We can even throw the OKC roster on the table:
- F: Josh Green, Magnus Paajarvi, Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello, Phil Cornet, Chris VandeVelde, Dane Byers, Tyler Pitlick, Antti Tyrvainen, Tanner House, Curtis Hamilton, Cameron Abney, Ryan Martindale, Kristians Pelss
- D: Corey Potter, Colten Teubert, Alex Plante, Taylor Fedun, Teigan Zahn, Dan Ringwald, Martin Marincin, Brandon Davidson
- G: Yann Danis, Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz
I may have missed one or two along the way, and maybe Oscar Klefbom sneaks on a plane before TC. Having said that, the group lines up as Goalies (5); Defenders (15); Forwards (28).
There is so much unsettled business for the entire NHL that I can see Edmonton making one or two big moves before training camp. I can also see them stand pat–which is what they usually do this time of year. The three-for-one deal I’ve been promoting since Christ was a kid remains somewhere out in the ether.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
It means we pretty much know the names to follow at training camp. New hires Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz will get plenty of attention, and we’ll be curious about the health of incumbents Taylor Hall and Ryan Whitney as well as a guy everyone is cheering for in Taylor Fedun.
It means we’ll have something new to talk about. Thank God and Greyhound.
Holiday weekend edition and we have a wide range of guests. Questions can be posted below, email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I do pay attention to twitter: @lowetide_ and @ItsNationRadio.
Scheduled to appear:
- Jason Gregor from JG Show and Oilers Nation. We’ll talk Oilers summer, what they might have left to do and the importance of the Ryan’s and a Taylor or two.
- Eric T. and his giant brain will return to talk about the importance of performance in the neutral zone and the relationship between possession and winning.
- Thomas Drance from Canucks Army and other parts of the Nations. Drance has clarity, and in the world of hockey think that’s like Olympic Gold. We’ll talk Arnott, Luongo and the NW division.
- Jim Byers from the OKC Barons. The Barons roster is starting to take shape with Josh Green, Chris VandeVelde and Alex Plante getting contracts recently. We’ll talk to Jim about the 12-13 edition of OKC Barons.
- Corey Graham, Oil Kings play by play man. I love hockey, but Corey loves it more. He cannot wait for OK training camp and we’ll talk about the WHL champions and their chances this season.
- Scott Francis Winder is a young Edmonton businessman who gets things done. We’ll talk about FC Edmonton’s big game tonight and a major event that will hit Edmonton in the next 7 days.
Your questions are the best, so bring them on. Festival seating, byob.