Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
As I took the bus through downtown to get to work this morning it hit me that the Oilers would be returning to work today, just like us normal folk. Training camp officially opens today with medical testing.
The Oilers dropped their training camp roster this morning after releasing 12 players last night from the rookie camps try outs. Noticeable releases included Jujha Khaira’s little brother Sahvan, former Oil King Lane Bauer, current Oil Kings Trey Fix-Wolansky and Davis Koch. All these players are will return to their clubs except for Bauer, he was an over ager last year, it will be interesting to see what happens with the Memorial Cup Champions future in hockey.
Between The Pipes
Camp opens with seven goalies, the backup position is somewhat in limbo. The Oilers didn’t go out and find a bonified NHL backup to help take the ease off Talbot, but I can see there being a battle for that position. Nick Ellis outplayed Laurent Brossoit last season in my opinion, and the Oilers brought in Calder Cup Champion, veteran AHLer Eddie Pasquale. I’m a big Brossoit fan, but I’d like to see him get some more time down in the AHL to season himself a bit better. It wouldn’t surprise me if Pasquale plays his way into the number two slot.
Clearly Todd and I aren’t thinking the same things.
The Blue Line
There are a lot of questions here because there is a big void with Sekera being on the shelf for a good chunk to start off the season. I was disappointed when Cody Franson signed a PTO with Chicago, he could’ve provided a lot of help that we need.
Chia went out and signed a couple fringe 7th d men, Yohann Auvitu and Ryan Stanton. In Auvitu’s first season in North America last year he split his time between the Devils and their AHL club. His numbers weren’t attention grabbers like they were in Helsinki, but he appeared to offer a steady presence to keep the puck out of his net while staying out of the box. It’s important to note that the Frenchman can speak Finnish as well, I think there’s some hope that he can help Puljujarvi adjust. Speaking of adjusting hopefully last year was just a season for Auvitu to get his feet wet and that he has made the adjustment to the NHL game.
Stanton is a local boy, he brought the cup home to St Albert when the Hawks gave him a day with it after being on the roster during their cup run. The Canucks gave him a spot on their blue line for a couple seasons before spending the last couple seasons in the AHL, unlike Auvitu he seems to be a lot nastier and grittier of a d man.
I fully expect these two to be the top two d men competing for roster spots towards the end of camp.
I feel like all we’ve talked about for days was what will we do with Nuge and who will play with Connor. Spector tweeted out the expected forward lines via Lowetide earlier this week that had fans chomping at the bit.
It’s interesting that the Oilers brought in Chris Kelly on a PTO, but that could be Chia just helping out his former player gain some exposure. Maybe they will give Nuge a break down the middle and let Kelly play in the dot? Who knows. What I do know is I LOVE that third line. Instead of going with a checking line the Oilers are stepping on the gas peddle with an offensive one, one that will hopefully allow our pizza loving Puljujarvi and little Nuge the chance to pick up points!
.The start of training camp is always fun, but it’s jam packed with 60 players. Cuts will be made quickly and bring the team closer to what resembles a NHL roster. Do you agree with me on what I think about the goalies and the defence? Do you think that anyone else can challenge for a roster spot? Let me know by leaving a comment or shooting me a tweet @nooorzy.