Edmonton Oilers cut virtually an entire team’s worth of players

Dallas Eakins 7

The Oilers made their first significant set of training camp cuts on Tuesday, and the coaching staff didn’t hold back, axing most of the team’s youngest prospects and dumping a whole pile of lower-level professionals down to Oklahoma City.

That’s a pretty long list of names, and it’s a list loaded with guys who weren’t going to make the NHL. In that sense, there isn’t anything surprising here, but a closer look at some of the names included and excluded reveals some interesting points.

Mildly Surprising

There aren’t any real shockers here, but there are some points of note:

  • Vladimir Tkachev survives the first wave of cuts. I had expected the Oilers to make a decision on signing him and send him back to junior with the rest of the youngsters, but he’s going to get a longer look in the preseason before they come to a conclusion. That’s positive in that he’s in the running for a contract, but negative in that the team may not have made its mind up yet. Wednesday’s exhibition match is probably the most important game of his career to-date.
  • The clearest winner today is probably Jordan Oesterle. He’s not getting lumped in with the depth AHL guys; he’s being treated like a real prospect. From what I saw in the rookie tournament and his exhibition play his survival is well-deserved.
  • Matt Ford gets lumped in with the guys who are going to be fighting just to stay outside the ECHL. It’s where he slotted in last season, too, but it isn’t an encouraging sign, particularly because another guy on an AHL deal (Jason Williams) lives to fight another day.
  • Marco Roy’s demotion here isn’t surprising, exactly, and there’s a decent case for it. He had a rough 2013-14 season, so getting him home early is probably a good thing. On the other hand, he has some draft pedigree and one would think the Oilers would like to take a longer look at him.
  • Greg Chase is in the same boat as Roy in some ways – he’s a prospect of note but he’s going back to junior so the team had to weigh the value of giving him a longer look versus getting him set for a successful 2014-15 campaign.
  • I should also note: Ty Rimmer lives; Tyler Bunz and Frans Tuohimaa head off to the minors. Rimmer continues to be the king of training camp. 
  • vetinari

    Signals to me that they want to avoid the debacle of last year, get some chemistry going with the real NHL players during the preseason and get off to a good start. Looks like management and coaching learned a little something in the offseason…

  • Re: Roy and Chase.

    Eakins mentioned that they were going to release all the sure-fire CHLers after a quick look out of respect to their CHL clubs as a thanks for helping developing their players.

    Makes sense on both sides as the quicker they get down to AHL/NHL players and two workable groups, the quicker they can do real systems work (and man do they need it!)

    Vladdy Hockey sticks around because they want to get a look against a better line up before offering a contract, so that makes sense.

    After they make a decision on Vladdy (probably after WIN game) the only CHL eligible left is Nurse and he’s not a sure fire CHLer anymore….

    • Yeah, I think that’s reasonable.

      Early cuts are pretty obviously judgment calls on the pro-level guys, but when a guy who you know is going back to junior gets cut it isn’t nearly as clear-cut. Even the good ones get sent down early sometimes.

      I thought Roy and/or Chase might qualify the way Moroz did in 2013, when the Oilers kept him a bit longer than the rest of the junior cuts, but that wasn’t the way they approached it this year.

      • Wax Man Riley

        Didn’t Moroz miss the Penticton camp last year due to coming off injury?

        Could be why they kept him longer as they hadn’t had much of a look at him yet. Just speculating

    • vetinari

      Don’t forget Draisatl is lumped into the CHL group too…I know it’s probably not worth mentioning because he’s got a job to lose in the NHL, but he COULD be demoted in theory.

  • Sevenseven

    Greg Chase looked great with Hall and Nuge. I hate yo see him cut, but probably for the best to get him set up for the season. Hope he has a great year.

  • ubermiguel

    Glad the Oilers sent Chase down early..he’s obviously in their long term plans so setting him up to dominate the WHL, and go for World Junior Gold should be good for him..

    Moroz and Khaira both stay for now..I like it.

    Real confused why Oilers havent signed Tkachev yet..its obvious he’s got first round talent..he will gain weight eventually..quit toying around before someone else snags him.

  • knee deep in it

    A contract for Vladdy is not the easiest thing to do. The team might think a standard 7th rounder deal should be fair. Vladdy’s agent might think that he could get a first round deal next June if he blows away the Q.

    I think they will get it done but agents are paid to get the most money in every deal.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    glad to see us moving quickly.

    anyone know whats up with eberle? hasnt played a game yet and isnt gonna be playing against the jets on wednesday.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Is anyone else chomping at the bit to see the Yak Yak Tkachev red army line? I said it earlier but a Canadian line, a Maginot line, and a hammer and sickle line? Comon.

      • Wax Man Riley

        Good point, other suggestions?
        The Barisknakovs
        The Putin line
        The Russian Oil Bearons (see what I did there)
        Um…. oh, the Drago line
        The KGB line
        The Oligarchs
        The Kremlins

        Help me out here.

      • ubermiguel

        Yup, pretty much the biggest defensive military disaster ever. The biggest offensive disaster would be Germany trying to invade the USSR. On that thought, let’s hope WWII history is not a topic of conversation in the Oilers dressing room these days. Don’t mention the war!

      • ubermiguel

        Yakimov turns 20 in a few days, so he’d be an over-ager. Besides he played Russian junior and I don’t think he was ever drafted by a CHL team so I don’t think the CHL has any claim on him.

    • Craig1981

      The agreement between the AHL and CHL isn’t one of age. It is that the AHL can not take a player that is playing in the CHL. Players that have not played in the CHL can play in the AHL anytime they like.

      I believe there was talk of Marincin playing in the AHL instead of the CHL after he was drafted, but it was decided the CHL was best for him

  • Dan 1919

    Can’t even make a goat joke this year like, “Did Dubnyk get cut yet, what about Gagner?”

    First time in a while there’s been no well documented duds on the team. Hopefully it stays that way. Petry is borderline there for me but we’ll give him a clean slate to start the season.

    • The Soup Fascist

      These were great solders for our team. Respect the Logo and those who gave all for it. I felt nothing but pain for Dubnyk as a man with a wife and kid saw his dreams implode. Gagner grew up in Alberta and always wanted to play here. His dram of winning a Stanly Cup was based in an Oiler Jersey. When he was traded I am sure he wept for the lost dream. May they both have bright futures.

  • If I were MacT I’d want Tkachev to stick around as long as possible. The extra time with the big guys will serve to motivate the crap outta him when he’s toiling away in some inferior junior league. Besides, if he works himself into the plans it’s a good idea to let him absorb as much NHL learning as he can. The little guy will also be a huge motivation for the rest of the team too.

  • pkam

    That leaves 29F,15D and 5G still in camp . My guess at second round of cuts will eliminate 11F , 6D , and 3G leaving about 4-5 spots up for grabs .

    Forwards (11) – Acton, Ewanyk, C. Hamilton , R,Hamilton ,K.Kessy, A.Miller ,S.Pinizotto ,M.Moroz, J.williams, V. Tkachev , J.J.Khaira .

    Defence (6) – K,Aulie, M.Gernat, B.Hunt ,D.Musil ,J.Oesterle , D.Simpson .

    Goalie : Broissoit , T.Rimmer , Bachman .

  • Jayz

    Off topic but, every time I hear a Yakupov interview I can’t stop smiling. He cheers me up just listening to the excitement in his voice and his general outlook on things. I’m pulling for his big friend to make the team ahead of Arco. Let Mark be a utility player that can go anywhere in the lineup depending on injuries and what not .

    The time is now .

    • Admiral Ackbar

      Yak is my favourite player on this team. His heart, passion and desire is as much as I’ve seen in a young Oiler since Smity in the mid-90s. Give him some plsying time, help him succeed.

      I don’t care if he works out, I adore him as a person. He’s good for this team.

      Yak city!!

  • Grant

    RE: Eberle – Last year in the pre-season other teams seemed to think it was a chance to get penalties without a worry of losing regular season points. Gagner getting a stick to the jaw and Hall getting an elbow to the head being the major shots.
    Perhaps they are keeping Eberle out for those reasons and thats why Hall is out tomorrow and then maybe RNH will get a couple games off so he isnt headhunted.

  • Jaxon

    Will we see a Hall-Arcobello-Perron line next game? I hope so. I think they’d drive the opposition nuts.

    Guesses at next games forward lines?

    HALL / ARCOBELLO / PERRON

    JOENSUU / GORDON / PURCELL

    HENDRICKS / LANDER / PAKARINEN

    MOROZ / KHAIRA / PINIZZOTTO

  • Jaxon

    With the possible exception of Chase, I see no reason for the other guys to get another look this pre-season. This means more at-bats for the guys who actually have a realistic chance of either making the team or being a call-up during the season.

  • Grant

    After my final cuts , here is my estimation of roster for season start :

    Forwards : Hall,Hopkins , Eberle , Pouliot, Draisaitl , Perron , Yakupov , Yakimov, Purcell , Hendriks , Gordon , 12th ( one of Westgarth or Gazdik ) , 13Th (one of Landers or Arcobello )

    Defense : Fayne , Nikitin , Schultz , Nurse , Petry, one of ( Klefbom or Marincin) and Ference .

    Goalies : Scrivens and Fasth .

  • Rdubb

    “he has some draft pedigree”…PLEASE people, use the words as they were meant to be used…if you do not know a words meaning, such as one so widely used as “pedigree”, look it up…the misuse of this word is one of my biggest pet peeves and it may seem petty, but I just do not know why people use it inproperly…
    the meaning of pedigree is:

    1.

    an ancestral line; line of descent; lineage; ancestry.

    2.

    a genealogical table, chart, list, or record, especially of a purebred animal

    NOW, please use properly…Nurse has a good pedigree

    • Jaxon

      Relax, it also means:

      “the background or history of a person or thing, especially as conferring distinction or quality.”

      For example, Hall’s history of being picked 1st overall is a pretty impressive background that shows distinction and quality, therefore Hall has a great draft pedigree.

    • Jaxon

      I’m no grammar expert, but if you’re going to be peeved about the misuse of a word, then you should check your own grammar. Try a period once in a while. “… ” is not the way to end a sentence. And you don’t even do that correctly. It is “dot dot dot space”. And “a words meaning” is possessive, therefore should be spelled “word’s”. Everyone here knows exactly what is meant by “draft pedigree”, so there is no real issue, except in your mind. Yes, your peeve is both petty and factually incorrect. Have a good one.

      • Jaxon

        Oh boy. I feel like we should be called for “piling on”. And Bill, the phrase is, “For Pete’s sake”. Hahaha. Nice catch on “inproperly”, though. I think a lot of us subconsciously corrected it to improperly without noticing.

  • The Soup Fascist

    I am a bit of a grammar / punctuation purist, myself. Two rules that have served me well:

    1) Don’t EVER use no double negatives.

    2) Never overuse exclamation marks !!!!!