ANTICIPATION

Oiler fans have been following the team’s players all season long, and now they finally come together for the sprint that is the 2012-13 season. This month is going to fly by, with "news by the minute" that will include callups, injury news, trades and talk of the next captain. Lets begin with what might happen this week.

CALLUPS

Jason Gregor tweeted out last night the expected list (Teemu Hartikainen, Magnus Paajarvi, Chris VandeVelde and Colten Teubert) and I’d pay attention to Yann Danis as well; Nikolai Khabibulin is close but the club will need able bodies from the start this week and Danis is a phone call away.

If the callups are as Jason describes, this will be the TC roster:

  • Goal (2): Devan Dubnyk, Nikolai Khabibulin
  • Defense (8): Ryan Whitney, Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz, Corey Potter, Theo Peckham, Colten Teubert
  • Center (5): Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff, Eric Belanger, Chris VandeVelde
  • Left W (5): Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov, Ryan Smyth, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk
  • Right W (5): Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Teemu Hartikainen, Lennart Petrell, Magnus Paajarvi

This fits the 15-8-2 verbal from coach Ralph Krueger earlier this week, and with the club looking at a 23-man roster to start the season there may be only 2 players sent back to OKC. I’d guess those players would be Colten Teubert and Chris VandeVelde, but again injury and readiness will have a lot to do with it.

INJURY NEWS

Encouraging so far; as Jason, Robin Brownlee and recently Jason Strudwick have reported to Oilers Nation over the last many months, Ryan Whitney has been able to do a lot of training that was previously impossible and arrives at TC ready as a game rooster to play in the NHL this season. This could be placed in the category of "manna from heaven" for Oiler fans, as a 20-25 minute defender who can play in all situations is badly needed by the club.

Khabibulin’s readiness is a slight issue, and one would guess that Andy Sutton’s injury (he’s done for the year) will impact the way management approaches the week. The OKC  Barons have been adding D via PTO by the half dozen this winter, so there is an organization-wide need for defensemen.

Based on the reports we’re getting so far from the gathered media, it looks like these young men have no need to hear about the evils of the "Gerry Cheevers Training Camp Template" (On the eve of camp, he’d cut a hole in a garbage bag, slip it over his head, jump in a car and drive around town with the heat turned up).

A youthful group like this one should have fewer injury problems, and of course most of the Oilers roster players were in action at some point during the lockout. At a high level.

TRADES

There are teams like Buffalo who appear to have some blue to trade, and the Oilers/Barons are no doubt going to be making some phone calls this week. If not for major league jobs, then for additional AHL help for coach Todd Nelson who may be feeling a little exposed at this point in time.

The waiver wire may also be interesting as the league drives toward Saturday and the beginning of the season. Free agent signings are also available, and the Oilers might have a look in the cupboard for help from the likes of Jim Vandermeer or Brett Clark.

CAPTAIN

No hurry on this, but I do believe that Shawn Horcoff will be passing the torch in the next twelve months. We talked about it here during the late summer and with a possible buyout looming this summer (I still don’t know how they buyout Horcoff with the current C depth chart, but we’ll see) it might be better to get this thing transitioned sometime before June.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Even the grumpiest among us can see there’s reason to get excited, as the Oilers land in YEG and the city dons the local apparel. YOUR EDMONTON OILERS are a week away.

What a lovely day.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Horcoff was on the negotiating committee and probably doesn’t want to hit the ice until the final vote is announced….even tho everybody knows what it is.

  • 24% body fat

    Said it before and I will say it again. You do not move a high scoring rookie shooting winger to another wing if he plays his off side. You are in effect killing a lot of his shooting ability. We all believe Hemsky will not be part of this team in the future. Move the veteran play maker over who will have an easier time adjusting due to his age and experience.

  • Alsker

    Anticipation…damn rights..but not just for hockey, heres hoping Kent Wanye nd co. can figure out how to get Nationradio back up and running…your insights are definitely missed..as for 7-0, between okc girls and a free car giveaway every Sat who cares…just kidding

  • B S

    I don’t know what’s with all you experts. A captain is not the best “skilled” guy on the ice, but this is what many believe it to symbolize. A true captain is a leader. In the dressing room and off the ice not the guy with the most points. I don’t know Horcoff personally just what is protrade in the media. You have to look past the pay cheque. Who through his body (face) in front of a shot in game 6? Who is involved in the community? Who wants and would do anything for his team? Some if not most goes unnoticed. What we do hear about is the money and his point totals.
    In a team sport you need to have every player on the same page to achieve a common goal. The Coach is the main guy but it is the captain that has to keep everyone in check. He is the coaches “go to guy” he’s on the front lines so to speak.
    I have meet our former captain (Morrow) on several occasions here in the city. I have seen him at the rink with his boy trying to watch and support his son, and getting swarmed by kids for a signature which he did take the time to do.
    The Captain is the person the organization wants to represent them. That is called CHARACTOR, not EGO that comes with the point guy sometimes.
    I apologize for the rant, but it bothers me to hear why the point guy is not the captain and it should be passed to someone else. It’s call character guys look past the 60 minutes. In life you get paid for responsibility.

  • book¡e

    have’nt heard anything from the nhl about a little give back to the fans and season ticket holders yet? or was betmans sorry, it,now everyone line up to pay for your tickets,will that be cash or visa?

  • book¡e

    “….That is called CHARACTOR, not EGO that comes with the point guy sometimes….”

    Anything to the chatter last season where Horc apparently got sour over his changing role on the team? Not sure, just asking.

  • book¡e

    Why the hell is our captain not on the ice leading this team?!! His teammates can make it from all over the world but Horcoff who didn’t even play shows up at the last minute. Strip the C as we need a leader in his spot.

  • Rocket

    I love how the season hasn’t started & we already have Horcoff hate. Well, no one accused us of being dispassionate.

    Seriously though, from what I,ve read Horcoff seems to have the respect of his team & seems an effective leader. Character counts.

    • B S

      God, I hope not. Burke turned a bad team into an absolute disaster. He’d trade J. Schultz for Phaneuf, and Eberle plus our first round pick for Clutterbuck. To add “truculence” of course.

        • B S

          the recent media hate-on for Yak has me worried Tambo or Lowe are just trying to prep fans for such a trade, “he lacked character” “he wouldn’t have fit in, he didn’t want to play here anyways” “at least we got Thomas Kaberle for him”.

          Great, now I’m going to have nightmares about the Oilers trading N64 right up to opening night.

    • WinterNightSky

      Like, bury the hatchet in the other’s back? Remember, now that Burke has only an ill-defined “advisor” job, he meet Kevin Lowe in a barn whenever Lowe can make it.