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Boyle, AB • Canada • 40 Years Old • Male
You can't see me, but I am tapping my watch. It isn't September 17 yet; or at least, it isn't where I live, but after tonight's Oilers game I wanted to throw a new blog on to discuss how things are progressing.

Two pre-season games in, and the players are giving Coaches Quinn and Renney plenty to think about. Two players tonight offered food for thought: Jordan Eberle played a strong game and looked NHL-ready, and Steve MacIntyre, who had hardly any ice time, got in a fight in the first period, flattening to the point of injury his opponent Joel Rechlicz. While Pat Quinn was quoted in Wednesday's Edmonton Journal saying he wasn't about to add a fighter to the line-up if he can't play hockey too, it is hard to ignore Big Mac's ability to talk with his fists. The Oilers forward core is small, and having Big Mac riding shotgun is not that much different than the role David Semenko played for the Oilers back in the cup years.

Other game notes included Laddy Smid and Sheldon Souray playing well, Sam Gagner scoring a goal and an assist, and Dustin Penner scoring while flying in off the left wing. Hopefully Dustin is on his way to having a much better season this year. A few players didn't look great: Liam Reddox and Marc Pouliot were noticably out of step. Overall though, it was a good effort for the Oil.

What if Eberle works his way onto the Oilers starting line-up? Forget the money part of the discussion and focus on the players. There has been suggestion that Nilsson could go if Eberle made the team. However, Quinn went on record this week stating that he has been impressed so far with Nilsson's skill level and on-ice ability. I don't get the feeling MacIntyre is going to steal anyone's spot on the roster, but he could be kept with the big club to be used when needed. If Eberle makes the team someone will have to go.

It was mentioned yesterday that the Oilers could send a forward like Fernando Pisani down. Once again, let's just ignore his contract and consider the logistics of this:

O'Sullivan - Horcoff - Hemsky
Penner - Gagner - Comrie
Nilsson - Cogliano - Eberle
Moreau - Brule - Stortini

While Pisani brings two-way ability, is a decent penalty killer, and put up goal scoring numbers one season in the playoffs, it is commonly understood that his seasons are numbered in Edmonton. There is simply too much depth and youth in the organization. He likely is not tradable at $2.5mil per season, especially considering his health history. Sending him down ahead of someone like Brule is possible if Eberle earns a roster spot. It should also be noted that Fernando has played center, and he could end up on the fourth line instead of Brule, who has a two-way deal. Eberle's inclusion could make Brule the odd-man out instead of Pisani.

Another notable player so far this training camp has been Robbie Schremp, who played well in his first pre-season game. Could Schremp beat out Brule or a player like Pisani for the fourth line center spot? On defense, Alex Plante is giving the coaches much to think about, as he looks ready. That being said, the Oilers are deep on D, and it would be next to impossible for Plante to earn a spot unless a deal occurs first. It looks like both Lubo Visnovsky and Theo Peckham will be questionable when the season begins, so the Oil would go with Souray, Grebeshkov, Gilbert, Smid, Souray and Strudwick as their defensive starting six.

The Oilers next pre-season game is Friday against the Florida Panthers. Don't be surprised if the Oilers do a little roster trimming before then.
Filed Under:   Oilers  
September 17, 2009 10:13 AM ET | Delete
Send down Pisani, Staois and Moreau - Keep Plante, Brule, and SchrempTalent goes up money goes down - PP is better - PK can improve with good coaching
September 17, 2009 10:22 AM ET | Delete
Why would you send Moreau down? Were we not just saying someone needed to stick up for the smaller fwd's? Ethan will do that also bringing vetran leadership and PK ability.
September 17, 2009 10:56 AM ET | Delete
I know people like to shit on Pouilot but he was 60% on the faceoff dot yesterday. Gagner was 35% and some how Cogliano was 55%. If Pouilot can continue this he may get a spot simply because he doesn't hurt us when he is on the ice and he could be valuable on the faceoff dot.
September 17, 2009 10:58 AM ET | Delete
I don't like all those guys tha all mighty listed, but last time we ran guys out of town Torres, Stoll and Reasoner we didn't realize what we lost. Losing those three would hurt our PK. Moreau at 2mil is a valuable player and only way I see him being moved is if Stortini learns the PK and makes it to line 3. Odds are that ain't happening this year.
September 17, 2009 12:00 PM ET | Delete
Nilsson did nothing last night so hes gone.Gagner can't win faceoffs so he is a winger.Schremp is not a forth liner so he is gone.Pisani might be gone.Pouliot played well for forth liner.I would go with 3 scoring lines and Eberle would stay.
September 17, 2009 12:04 PM ET | Delete
You can't say a guy is gone because of one game. So far he has impressed the coaching staff. Gagner is more productive offensively as a center, so that will be an interesting decision.
September 17, 2009 12:05 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted1/Sullivan-Horcoff-Hemsky 2/Penner-Comrie-Eberle 3/Morear-Comrie-Gagner 4/Brule-Pouliot-Stortini.
September 17, 2009 12:07 PM ET | Delete
Message PostedI can still change the lines if someone shows up in the next games
September 17, 2009 12:20 PM ET | Delete
Moreau can skate fast in straight line, he can bump into other players mostly by accident, Hasn't detroit done pretty good while having the fewest fighting majors? why because they have discipline and are mentally tough. PK can be taught - no need for Moreau
September 17, 2009 12:21 PM ET | Delete
Hey Coolin I know Comrie is shifty but can he play on two lines?
September 17, 2009 12:23 PM ET | Delete
There is no one good to take his spot.So he stays for now.
September 17, 2009 12:24 PM ET | Delete
Oops should be Cogliano on 2nd line.
September 17, 2009 1:10 PM ET | Delete
I like the line up. After seeing Eberle play last night he looks more ready to be in the NHL that Tavares did. With that being said I think he will get the 9 game look for sure
September 17, 2009 2:08 PM ET | Delete
Quite possibly the worst game i've seen fernando play last night! Big Mac was more visible on the ice. Also was not happy with the play of reddox last night if i saw one more end to end rush where he lost the puck in the offensive zone i was going to throw my comp out the window. gags with a great game shelley with and Unreal game broken glass and a goal what more can u ask!!!
September 17, 2009 2:25 PM ET | Delete
macneil. we could ask to when against an echl by more then 1 goal. I really thought we'd blow the Isles out, never heard of 3/4 the guys they dressed.
September 17, 2009 8:46 PM ET | Delete
They should give Souray a free goal every time he breaks glass like that. Talk about a rocket.
September 18, 2009 9:59 AM ET | Delete
They should slap him upside the head everytime he misses the net. I know he scores alot but how much more would he score if he learned when to take the slapshot and when to make a slap pass or throw a wrister on net for a tip?
September 18, 2009 10:02 AM ET | Delete
I really like the idea of sending down Pisani, if we did do that it would give more flexibilty to our payroll!! Moreau is alright, I think he is great but I dont think you can argue that he is a great peantly killer when he is in the box all the time for taking dumb penelties.(Hooking, tripping, being lazy on the back check) I would love to see Eberle make the team I really think he is the answer the Oil are looking for. Give him 9 games, lets see what happens!!!
September 18, 2009 10:33 AM ET | Delete
I think we should take a page out of Detroit's book and let Eberle develop. We screwed up enough guys by bringing them in at 19,20,21 lets do what Detroit does and wait til guys are 23-25. All of their key players Datsyuk, Zetterburg, Franzen and Kronwall were 22-26 before they became NHL regulars. Guys like Pouilot, Jacques, Stortini, Cogliano, Gagner, Smid should be just getting their toes wet now. I guess that's what happens when you have no team and can't sign anyone at free agency.
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