HOLIDAY ROAD

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).

WHAT’S NEXT?

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.

NATION RADIO

Holiday weekend edition and we have a wide range of guests. Questions can be posted below, email is nationradio@theteam1260.com and I do pay attention to twitter: @lowetide_ and @ItsNationRadio.

Scheduled to appear:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 

  • book¡e

    From Tim in Kelowna: “…the Oilers biggest weakness is at the General Manager position.”

    Couldn’t have stated it better myself.

    What has changed over last season? MacT has joined the inner circle in hockey ops. Schultz the Younger signed as a FA and ST got lucky winning the lottery=Yakupov, Renney has been replaced with Kreuger and Barker is gone.

    Otherwise, it is the same old. Same GM (with 3-year extension). Same assistant coaches. Top six forwards look promising, but not so much the bottom six, which contain Belanger, Eager, Hordichuk, Horcoff, Smyth, Petrill, Jones=problematic on performance and blocking slots for prospects in OKC. Other than adding rookie J. Schultz, no change on D. And the same duo in goal. And the vets are one year older.

    Playoffs for the Oilers? Unless Kreuger is a miracle worker and ST shakes up the roster with a second line centre, a top D, and some sandpaper up front, this is wishful thinking.

    • So you’d rather have an inferior OKC prospect on our roster than a proven NHL’er in Jones? If any camp invitee knocks Jones out of a slot, then fine, that’s how it should be. Prospects shouldn’t touch NHL ice until they force themselves into a roster spot by superior play.

      Not a single OKC prospect (outside of Harti – and the jury is still out on him) showed enough last year to merit replacing a full-time player on the big team. Noodle on that for a moment.

      We brought up alot of AHL talent in the last couple of years because we were in full-on tank mode and the roster was (intentionally) filled with fringe players the likes of which no competitive team would touch. I pray to god those days will soon be over.

      It should be a reward to get brought up, not an expectation.

  • book¡e

    I don’t see a ‘contact the webmaster’ link anywhere, so I thought I would post it here in hopes that someone sees this.

    The lettering that links to previous posts (beyond the last few) is white and is on a mostly white background. It is almost impossible to see.

    I mean this thing

    “« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 … 776 777 Next »”

  • paul wodehouse

    …Oh Man Mantooth…i’m pissed at this sorry … why why why…Messers Hall and Nugent-Hopkins weren’t playing anything, least of all tournents representing their country before they had their first ‘rookie’ training camp shifts… our managememt team was thinking …what?!?
    not quoting you here just saying “Russian Insurance” ???? Huh??? kinda oxymoron-ish no? like Jumbo Shrimp and Military Intelliegence…it gets laughable y’know…this flurting with disaster… my gawd Man would you want Hall or RNH playing in a tournament in August…now?

    …what if the Nail turns out to be injury prone as well…then what ?

  • paul wodehouse

    LT…I stand corrected sir…although I do think there’s a big difference between playing for your country as opposed to red&white junior squads playing some shinny at a no pressure camp…I concern myself with the balls to the wall style of play when the ‘motherland’ is watching and imo that could jeopardize the asset…I can only pray he is safe and we get to see him at 100%

    • Not any different then Eberle, RNH, Petry playing in the World Hockey Championship.

      Can you imagine blowing your ACL or MCL even worse yet, tearing your shoulder playing in that tournament.

      it is going to be a good tournament to watch though, wonder if Murray wants a little pay back from the WJC?