This is one of my favorite times to be a hockey fan and the reason is this man, Larry Mavety. Back in the olden days, fans would get “HOCKEY PREVIEW” magazines in September that predicted the rosters and standings for each NHL team.
Larry Mavety showed up in those magazines every year. Oh sure it was at the end of a sentence (“and Larry Mavety who put up solid numbers on the farm might get a shot this year”) but he never did play in the NHL.
And he was all around it too. IHL All-Star team in 1966 and 1967, WHL (the pro league) All-Star in 1970 and 1971. When the WHA arrived he was an obvious choice for the new league and posted solid numbers (40 assists one year, 51 points the next) and had a nice run over 5 WHA seasons.
He never played an NHL game though, and because Mavety’s career was one I followed (surely he couldn’t have been worse than some of the Seals and Capitals) for a few years the period of time when players are cut before opening night has always held an interest for me. Kind of like a car crash or those nature shows where a snake eats a frog.
I think last night’s game made MacT angry enough to say goodbye to all the pretenders and get down to the serious business of choosing the men he’ll go to war with in 08-09. It’s an important year for him: expectations are high enough that an extremely slow start might force Steve Tambellini to replace him (remember, best friend Kevin Lowe wouldn’t be the man doing the shooting) with one of the assistant coaches or someone from outside the organization.
The players sent out today clear the decks, and make the Riesen to believe update extremely easy tonight. Let’s start by listing the players who have NHL jobs unless they suffer injury or the Oilers make a huge end-of-camp trade:
That’s 11 forwards, 5 defensemen and 2 goalies. The Oilers would need to add at least one forward and one defenseman among the final 5 players (making a roster total of 23 which is the likely number). Here then is the new list:
- Smid 98% (slight chance of trade)
- Brule 85%
- Pouliot 79%
- Strudwick 75%
- Jeff Deslauriers 60%
- Schremp 57%
- MacIntyre 38%
- Roy 5%
- Peckham 2%
- Chorney 1%
My guess is that the “group of 5″ are as slotted here, with Schremp and the rest sent out. It is not a slam dunk, however. The Oilers clearly like MacIntyre enough to claim him off waivers and that might impact Pouliot, Deslauriers or Strudwick. Also, Brule has the edge on points over Schremp currently but there’s still time and should the Oilers dump Pouliot in favor of MacIntyre that may mean the more skilled Schremp wins the day. The 8-10 slots here are window dressing imo, although Mathieu Roy is a nice hockey player and deserves better.
One final thing: I think the Oilers are going to make a trade. It might be a minor one, but all of Roy, Deslauriers and Pouliot are waiver eligible and none of them are certain to make the big club. I suspect they’ll shop one or three and someone will have interest.
Fun times. I wonder if Larry Mavety is paying attention.