Farm Report (Forwards)

If the Oilers are looking for replacement troops (the current bunch are suffering from malaria, gangrene, consumption, poliomyelitis, Spanish flu, Gulf War Syndrome, lack of clean water, effects of exposure to agent orange, blurred vision, identifying-colors syndrome, fatigue, exhaustion, depression, scurvy) there are some candidates in Springfield.

Aside from Marc Pouliot (in photo as a Hamilton Bulldog) there are a few other players worth paying attention to at this time.

It’ll be important to monitor the minors (and college signings) this spring. The Oildrop are already “open for business” on the trade market and a few short months away from now they’ll be considering buyouts. Also in the mix will be the humiliation of NHL veterans being demoted for cap purposes.

The list of Falcons who are inexpensive and could be training-camp contenders, mid-season cups of coffee or temporary placeholders on the 10-11 team:

  • F Marc Pouliot (3gp, 1-5-6 +4). Marc-Antoine Pubis has been exceptional during the AHL conditioning trip this week. I don’t know the recall timeline but if it is based purely on performance my guess is he gets the recall today. He’s an RFA after the season and at $825,000. I can’t imagine him being more expensive for 10-11.
  • C Ryan O’Marra (39gp, 8-4-12 -7). O’Marra punched his ticket to the show earlier this season and his minor league numbers have improved. We know from Daum’s comments that this player is seen as a “3line checking C” moving forward and it is worth noting that his plus minus is among the better totals for Falcons’ forwards this year. He has 2 shorthanded goals. An RFA this summer, ending his entry level deal ($1.2M).
  • R Colin McDonald (41gp, 8-5-13 -11). McDonald got a taste of the NHL and the coaching staff had nice things to say about him. His AHL coach appears to rely on McDonald for tough assignments and his offense is a hair better this year. I think that’ll be his problem–offense. The NHL portion of his contract is $550,000 and he’s an RFA this summer.
  • L Liam Reddox (37gp, 9-6-15 -14). Reddox is an easy guy to forget about, but he’s gathering pro experience and has had a prolonged stint in the NHL (including 9 games this season). He’s on a 2-way deal, the NHL portion for this season is $515,000 and he’s an RFA this summer.
  • L Slava Trukhno (41gp, 6-5-11 -12). Hold the phone! There are signs of life!! In his last 4 games (the Pouliot diaries) this fellow has caught fire a little: 3-1-4, E. I think he’s done as an Oiler prospect but have always liked him so wanted to mention his late inning run over the last while. He’s an RFA this summer, $792,000 is his big league number.
  • C Geoff Paukovich (43gp, 4-1-5 -7). A player of interest because of his size, Paukovich also has a mean streak and can penalty kill. An extreme long shot. RFA in June, $603,000.
  • L Bryan Lerg (22gp, 3-2-5 -5). When you’re a college free agent signing and a regular healthy scratch, this might not be the right fit for you. Lerg hasn’t scored since November and it is impossible to create a scenario where he gets anywhere interesting from here.

The AHL team this season has already sent several forwards to the big club: Ryan Potulny, Ryan Stone, Liam Reddox, Colin McDonald, Ryan O’Marra. The combined stats for these forwards: 72gp, 10-16-26.

I’ll update the Falcon blue later today.

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