Oilers assign ten to Oklahoma City

The Edmonton Oilers cut 10 more players from training camp on Monday – including Tyler Bunz, pictured above – and assigned this group to their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.

The list of players re-assigned is as follows:

  • Tyler Bunz
  • Travis Ewanyk
  • Matt Ford
  • Austin Fyten
  • Martin Gernat
  • Joey Leach
  • David Musil
  • Derek Nesbitt
  • Olivier Roy
  • CJ Stretch

There’s nothing Earth-shattering here, but there are a few interesting developments.

Let’s start in net. Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz were both sent down today, while free agent invite Ty Rimmer stays in camp with Devan Dubnyk, Jason LaBarbera and Richard Bachman. Bunz being sent down isn’t a surprise, given the season he just had, but Rimmer has just one professional game under his belt while Roy has 77. Is it reading too much into it to think that Roy – who got lit up in his lone pre-season appearance – was a disappointment? How much interest do the Oilers have in adding Rimmer to the organization (perhaps on an AHL deal) to challenge Bunz and Roy? Rimmer so far has survived one cut that axed other tryouts like Ty Bilcke and Reid Petryk, and the cut he survived today dispatched two of the Oilers’ three minor-league goalies. 

Defensively, I had wondered if first-year professionals Martin Gernat and David Musil might stick around a little longer, but it isn’t a huge surprise to see them cut now. Both guys will be interesting to watch in the minor leagues – Oklahoma has a reasonably stacked blue line, and the possibility of either or both seeing time in the ECHL exists. Joey Leach was also sent down as the Oilers purged minor-league contracts from camp. The defencemen remaining are either Darnell Nurse or experienced professionals. 

Up front, the players sent away were mostly guys on minor-league contracts – guys like Ford, Fyten, Nesbitt and Stretch are all system depth guys and not real candidates for NHL employment. It’s interesting to see Kale Kessy still with the team – Ewanyk, a first-year professional, was sent down while Kessy survived this particular cut. Likely it’s only a temporary reprieve but even so it seems notable.

The Picture So Far

Here’s a rough look at the Oilers’ depth chart today. Players in purple were part of the first wave of cuts, players in brown were cut today. I’ve mostly stuck with the Oilers’ official positions for each player, save on defence (don’t read too much into left/right designations on either wing or the blue line – many players are capable of playing either side and this is an approximation only).

Recently around the Nation Network

Sean Monahan has looked good at the Calgary Flames’ training camp, but Kent Wilson says that doesn’t mean he should make the team:

As of this writing Sean Monahan has had a strong training camp, which means the number of fans agitating for him to stay with the parent club all season has increased. I’ve gone on record before about this topic, but it bears repeating: burning a year of Monahan’s ELC at this point would be a mistake.

Click the link above to read more, or feel free to check out some of my recent stuff below:

  • The Heist

    Any word on the integration of belov? Like a few others, this guy is a true wildcard to me and I feel there’s a good chance he steps right in to make an impact. Here’s hoping.

    • Chico Santana

      @ Jonathan Willis
      >Well that certainly is good news for goalie Ty Rimmer. Not so good if you’re Olivier Roy or Tyler Bunz. JW, can we read anything into keeping Rimmer around a little longer?

      @ the heist

      I think Belov will have a roster spot. May need a few weeks in OKC.

    • MattyFranchise

      I sure hope they give Omark a fair chance this year. I thought he got a really raw deal last time round. One of the few Oilers I have seen in the last 5 years be able to protect the puck in the offensive zone, something Edmonton is terrible at. Give him a real look playing on the top couple of lines. I think the oilers could potentially put out 3 really solid lines (with Omark in the mix), instead of just overloading the top 2. Love the idea of Hall at center. Opens up a lot more possibilities. Omark-RNH-Eberle, Jones-Hall-Hemsky, Perron-Gagner-Yakapov, Smyth-Gordon-Brown Or something to that effect. With our cap space, I think Omark could fill out our lines at an excellent price.

  • Czar

    I would think there is nothing to read into it. Bunz and Roy were never going to play ahead of Dubnyk and LaBarbera. So, send them down to get acclimated to OKC, and keep Rimmer to retain four goalies in inter squad games. It’s a free player right now.

    • Certainly that’s a possibility, too.

      Given the structure of the cuts, I’m inclined to think it’s a little damning for Roy, though – he’s a guy who should be pushing Bachman for playing time and getting lumped in with Bunz while the camp invite sticks around is less than ideal.

      But hey, I might very well be reading too much into it.

      • MattyFranchise

        Lets be honest. The only reason Rimmer is still around is named Fuhr, his godfather.

        Same reason he got drafted by Brandon as the last goalie picked in his draft year.

        Whoo hoo, he can say he sat on the bench for an NHL exhibition game.

        “Uncle” Grant and Daddy Barry can only take Ty so far.

  • Abney and Kessy and Moroz have not gotten into an exhibition game, right?

    Ewanyk, Gernat, and Musil got their exhibition game.

    The Oilers have two exhibition games in two days. They have 4 goaltenders left. Rimmer hasn’t had an exhibition game. He probably gets a period, then is gone.

    So I wouldn’t read too much into who was sent down today, and who will be sent down on Wednesday or Thursday.

  • pkam

    All the players that were cut have at least one exhibition game and have not proved they deserved to stay.

    The only exception is Bunz. He haven’t played one exhibition game and was cut. Wonder if the management and coach had seen enough from the rookie tournament.

    The other surprise is Bachman. He had one exhibition game and his SV% was .800, worse than Roy but he was not cut. I didn’t watch the game at Saddledoom so I don’t know how much of the .800 was his fault. But keeping him over Roy and Bunz is a little shocking.

  • pkam

    As a hockey fan from Lethbridge I am very happy to see Rimmer stick around. Watched him keep the WHL Hurricanes afloat all last season. This kid is a warrior and a winner. Despite terrible coaching (and some heated moments between player and coach) Rimmer was hands down the teams MVP last year. He had a top GAA and sv pct despite facing more shots than any other goalie in the dub last season. I hope they sign him.

    • pkam

      I’m also in Lethbridge, and I agree. The numbers he posted aren’t world-beating, but it ignores the fact they were behind a sub-par team which featured no top prospects, a young squad, and a coach who hasn’t been widely praised.

      I’m cheering for him.

      • Dasboot

        Without a doubt. You are right. His numbers were average but often they dont tell the whole story. Luckly for him it looks like someone took notice. I havnt watched any Oilers training camp so I cant comment on how he has looked but always good to see Hurricane alum have success.

  • MattyFranchise

    When one of my coworkers gets back from vacation he’s going to be pretty happy I think. He grew up playing hockey with Khaira in the Langley/Burnaby area and is still good friends with him.

    I can’t remember what year it was that he stopped playing but this guy, his name is Mitch Price, was telling me that Khaira was terrible when they played together and now he’s drafted by the Oilers and Mitch works in a paint shop in central Alberta.

    I asked him why he doesn’t play hockey anymore and he said that his heart wasn’t in it, he couldn’t be motivated to put in the work. Clearly Khaira did put in the work and it is now paying off.

    I just thought it would be a good story to share.

  • MattyFranchise

    Abney’s future with the Oilers is completely dependent upon his ability to smash faces. He has one chance to show his worth in Winnipeg tonight. Poor kid. What a brutal way to make a living…