Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
It was an exciting weekend for Oilers fans who love to pencil in their own roster because not only did Peter Chiarelli talk roster thoughts with Bob McKenzie, Todd McLellan talked with Bob Stauffer sometime over the last few days at the Young Stars tournament out in Penticton (shout out to my boys at Beer League Heroes for pushing out this interview).
Bob started off by asking about expectations, which was a great topic to touch on. My take on this: At the start of last season we were talking about being lucky to make the playoffs, by the time it was locker room clean out day people were already talking about lifting the cup next season. The Oilers have SUCH an interesting fan base, especially on twitter. One minute we can be celebrating wins, the next minute the sky’s falling and we’re throwing guys under 18 wheelers. There’s a fine line and you’ll be able to tell which side were on by checking twitter on game night.
Todd said the juices started flowing for line ideas at the draft and really kicked into gear after Leon was inked. Speaking of Leon he says that Leon will play two positions, just as he did last season, wing and centre. It sounds like he will start out the season primarily playing down the middle and only be moved if the coach needs to throw lines into the blender during a game.
I talked about Nuge for yesterdays post and it seems as though my hopes of him playing the wing alongside Leon or McDavid have been dashed. They want to start him out in his natural position, centre, with what sounds like out two Finns. My take: Jokinen will give him a breather on having to rush back to play defence, which will hopefully give Nuge some more points on the season.
Speaking of Jussi, Todd talked about him helping Puljujarvi adjust. Just as that article by the Oilers earlier this summer suggested, they’re looking for him to play the same role that he did with Barkov in Florida.
McLellan touched on Lucic’s turbulent season on the score sheet last season, but defended Milan by saying that he brought more to the room than just what he does on the ice. My take: It’s a new season, Milan had to adjust last year, let’s see what he can do this season.
The Oilers bench boss also talked about Oilers first round, pick Kailer Yamamoto. When Bob asked if he would get a couple games Todd replied that only Kailer will be able to determine that by how he does. He said he was impressed with Yamamoto at the Young Stars game he saw and can’t wait to see him at the main camp. My take: Kailer is going to come in, so long as we can handle the rough and tough stuff and can play with his skill I honestly think he gets a shot at a game or two.
If you want to listen to the full-length interview Beer League Heroes has nicely uploaded it to Youtube!
To round it all out today Mark Spector tweeted out the lines that will start training camp. I’m super thrilled to see Caggiula get a chance to play in the top six, I think this kid is going to big things this season.
What do you think about Coach McLellan’s comments? Do you think these lines to start out training camp will last? Leave a comment or shoot me a tweet @nooorzy.