With training camp in full swing, it's time for a few Quick Hits.
- The Oilers are progressing well at training camp, and there is optimism in Edmonton. Players being interviewed are now opening up a bit about being releaved the MacT era came to an end.
- Dustin Penner came into camp in great shape, both physically and mentally. He more than anyone else needed a fresh start under a new coach.
- However, it looks like at least for now, Penner won't be playing on the first line. Patrick O'Sullivan is on a line with Horcoff and Hemsky, and that might be a great fit. Pat plays with a little sandpaper in his game, and he loves to shoot the puck. Dustin is being pencilled in to play the wing on the third line with Cogliano and Pisani, as things currently sit.
- The rumors regarding Nikolai Zherdev signing with the Oilers are still there. While Nikolai has negotiated a contract with a KHL team, he has yet to sign the contract, and is still available to NHL clubs. However, Zherdev being signed by Edmonton is a long-shot at best. Tom Renney had him in New York and was not a fan. The Oilers are also up against the cap, and would be about $2mil short to sign him. Rumor is Zherdev was offered $3.25mil from the Rangers in the last week, and he refused it.
- Petr Sykora as of today is with the Wild, so there will be no return to Edmonton for Petr.
- The talk in Edmonton is that if there is a change coming during training camp, it will be due to the Oilers shipping away one of their Top 4 defenseman for a Top 6 forward. There would be no problem finding interest for Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert or Grebeshkov; the bigger question would be in regards to the type of player Edmonton would receive in return.
- Speaking of potential deals, am I alone in thinking there is a real possibility that Brandon Dubinsky could end up being moved to Edmonton? A two-way center that can take face-offs and play the PK...Edmonton would love that. Any move to add a forward, however, would require Edmonton to ship some bodies, as they have too many on the roster as it is. Would the Rangers take Robert Nilsson and Robbie Schremp for Brandon? Slats loves reclaimation projects, and both Nilsson and Schremp are just that.
- Edmonton's signing of Mike Comrie makes Nilsson rather disposable. It also likely means that one of Sam Gagner and/or Andrew Cogliano will play the wing this season. Could you imagine Edmonton having their own version of the Smurf Line: Cogliano - Comrie - Gagner?
- Don't expect to see Jordan Eberle play in Edmonton this season. Word is the team loves him, and there is a belief he could make the jump this season. The biggest problem is, adding Jordan would actually hurt Edmonton's cap position, and the Oilers are in no rush to rush him. It will be back to junior for Jordan this season.