After the Olympics are over, the Oilers will have a short window of opportunity to offload the aged. After that, it’ll be “wait till next year” for Springfield Falcons players whose playing rights belong to Edmonton (NHL).
The Oilers have some nice prospects in the minors and we’ve seen a few over this season. Among them are goalie Devan Dubnyk, defensemen Dean Arsene, Theo Peckham, Taylor Chorney and Alex Plante. Forwards who got a look-see include Ryan O’Marra, Liam Reddox (first photo) and Colin McDonald (‘stache).
The biggest impact from the minors came in the person of Ryan Potulny. Some of us felt he’d make the big club but he started the year in the AHL because of a pedestrian TC.
If the Oilers move some veterans at the deadline, chances are they’ll be getting draft picks and lower level prospects in return. That might open up roster spots for some Falcons, and since Edmonton is going to move their minor league team for 10-11 there’s no real reason not to empty the corral.
- Traded: Shawn Horcoff. Replacement: Ryan O’Marra. A step down in quality that’ll make you shudder. The Oilers have no replacement for Horcoff on the major league roster let alone in Springfield. I doubt they trade him, but if they do a replacement must come back the same day. O’Marra’s numbers since the new year (20gp, 2-2-4 -8) are off from pre-Christmas (31gp, 7-3-10 -7).
- Traded: Ethan Moreau. Replacement: Liam Reddox. Moreau seems to be making a late run to impress the other 29 general managers enough to get out of Dodge. The return is very likely to be a distant draft pick or a prospect from darkest Peru, but the Oilers shouldn’t worry because Reddox is flying. He’s been the hottest Falcon since Jan. 1, going 21gp, 10-5-15 E on a team that’s been drowning most nights. His first split (28gp, 4-5-9 -14) isn’t close to his current run.
- Traded: Fernando Pisani. Replacement: Colin McDonald. McDonald played well in a 2-game NHL audition earlier in the year and I think he’s as likely as anyone to get the call after the deadline. He is somewhat unique among Falcons wingers because of his size and grit, but McDonald’s splits (32gp, 6-5-11 -8; 21gp, 3-4-7 -12) have been consistent if not impressive. Pisani is a free agent after the season and I suspect he is the most likely veteran to be traded at the deadline.
- Traded: Mike Comrie. Replacement: Slava Trukhno or Chris Minard. I would have chosen Minard going away but he’s not the same player who ripped up the AHL in the season’s first 10 games (9-4-13). Since coming back, Minard has gone 12gp, 2-3-5 -2. Trukhno had a terrible season going until recently. He started the year 36gp, 3-4-7 -12 but since the new year has played in 18 games and scored 6-5-11 even. Comrie looks like he’s back (got some nice chances last night) to near normal and is a probable to get moved.
- Traded: Sheldon Souray. Replacement: Dean Arsene. I chose him because none of the kids could come close to replacing Souray’s physical play, experience and bomb from the point. So, we go with the most experienced option available. Arsene (16gp, 0-4-4 since Jan 1) might be auditioning for Strudwick’s spot on next year’s team if he gets the call in March.
- Traded: Lubomir Visnovsky. Replacement: Taylor Chorney. I chose him because of the puck moving ability and the fact that he’ll be a Lubo type if he ever makes the grade. It should be mentioned that Chorney’s plus minus has improved greatly since the new year (26gp, 4-6-10 -16; then 12gp, 1-2-3 E).
- Traded: Steve Staios. Replacement: Alex Plante. Plante (injured yesterday in the pre-game skate) looked miles better than we thought he would in his NHL debut earlier this season. There’s still a long way to go but his splits are impressive (34gp, 0-4-4 -9 early and then 15gp, 2-3-5 -2 since the new year) and he appears to be a player. His 122pims lead all rookie defensemen (AHL) in that department 2009-10.
- Traded: Jason Strudwick. Replacement: Theo Peckham. Strudwick has limited value, but I’ve included him on the list because Ray Ferraro rambled on at length about him a week or so ago during the Oiler-Flyer game on tsn. Peckham has had issues with injury and conditioning (according to coach Rob Daum) this season but his long term importance on the depth chart remains.
- Devan Dubnyk. He won’t replace anyone but the big goaler should get another opportunity to shine before the NHL season fades. His performances so far have been inconsistent but there have been flashes of brilliance and JDD has faltered too. There’s a job to be had, Dubnyk may grab it in the season’s final stretch.
- Jordan Eberle. The Pats play their final regular season game March 13th and it looks like his junior career will end at the final whistle that evening. Eberle is one point off the scoring lead in the Western League and there’s a chance the Oilers bring him right to the show in mid-March.
Falcons Callups 2009-10
- Ryan Potulny 44gp, 14-8-22 -13
- Taylor Chorney 21gp, 0-1-1 -9
- Devan Dubnyk 9gp, 4.17 .861
- Liam Reddox 9gp, 0-2-2 -2
- Alex Plante 4gp, 0-1-1 +1
- Theo Peckham 4gp, 0-0-0 -5
- Ryan O’Marra 3gp, 0-1-1 E
- Colin McDonald 2gp, 1-0-1 +1
- Dean Arsene 2gp, 0-0-0 E