Barnes also talks about the players “in the mix” for the final roster spot, mentioning Marc Pouliot, Gilbert Brule, Rob Schremp and Guillaume Lefebvre.
Schremp and Lefebvre offer skills that are not duplicated by Pouliot, but should one of them make the roster it may mean only one of Brule and Pouliot make the Oilers out of TC.
I’ve (up to this point) suggested Pouliot as a heavy favorite to make the team this year. Now I’m not certain. There may be a feeling (as was suggested before TC by Ryan Rishaug) that it is time for fresh blood on the 4line, that last season’s Brodziak-Glencross-Stortini crash and bang 4line was the perfect template. That scenario would heavily favor Brule, especially if (as Barnes also mentioned) the coach is thinking of splitting up the “3line-with-no-center” experiment. Putting Brodziak on the 3line with Penner and Pisani and slotting Moreau alongside Brule and Stortini is an option that would satisfy those needs.
Which would mean the 13F is a battle between Pouliot, Schremp and Lefebvre. Here are the updated bets:
Safe Without a Throw: Horcoff, Cole, Hemsky, Cogliano, Gagner, Nilsson, Pisani, Penner, Moreau, Stortini, Brodziak. Moreau has been added, as he appears to be completely healthy and isn’t blocking shots in pre-season this year. So that’s 11 out of 13 or 14 forwards.
- Brule 75% (up 25%)
- Pouliot 70% (down 25%)
- Schremp 65% (up 15%)
- Lefebvre 40% (new)
- Potulny 12% (down 29%)
- Reddox 10% (same)
- Trukhno 3% (same)
- Sestitio 1% (same)
Gone from the list are Lerg (minors) and Moreau (healthy). I’ve also increased the possibility of the Oilers going with 14F’s which impacts players below. I also think we can start talking about one of these men starting the season on IR until everything shakes loose.
Stealing Home: Visnovsky, Souray, Staios, Grebeshkov, Gilbert. Smid is very close but there’s still a slight chance they deal him for a veteran blueliner.
- Smid 98% (up 4%)
- Strudwick 80% (down 10%)
- Roy 11% (same)
- Peckham 2% (down 3%)
- Chorney 1% (new)
Could the Oilers start the season with just 6 defensemen? Highly doubtful, but they might place someone on IR until things sort themselves out (as above).
- Garon 100%
- Roloson 90% (up 5%)
- Deslauriers 41% (down 23%)
At this point I think the Oilers must be thinking long and hard about either risking waivers on JDD or dealing Roloson. The two veteran goalies look ready to go and Deslauriers, although impressive, would certainly represent a weak spot on the roster should Edmonton trade Roloson and move the rookie into the backup slot.
I think the three most likely scenarios for roster relief remain:
- Putting someone on IR
- Sending down Deslauriers
- Making 12 and 13F’s Brule and Pouliot
However, once again Marc Pouliot has come to training camp and not grabbed it. It is also the second camp in a row where he has played away from center, and I cannot remember a time when the Oilers boasted a healthy roster and Pouliot’s spot was safe.
It’s a tell, folks.