Oilers Down to 25

Liam Reddox earned a spot in the NHL this fall, but he didn’t get his ticket punched. Yet.

The ginger played his heart out (again) and certainly has a skill set that matches a team need. It looks like he lost a battle with Ryan Jones for the 4line LW role, a clear case of the coaching staff deciding size was more important than heart and effort.

Ryan Jones is bigger than Reddox, and probably has a bit more offensive ability. Those are the things that made the difference.

I’ll have a post up later this evening in regard to the tremendous amount of talent that hit the waiver wire today (and some names the Oilers should consider), but for now here’s a list of the cuts and the men who won the jobs in question.

  1. Ryan Jones over Liam Reddox. This is two coaches in a row who have gone another direction and one hopes Liam Reddox finds another team to play for in the next 24 hours. Jones was chosen 111th in 2004, Reddox 112th. I bet it was just as close on cutdown day, and in fact Reddox should be credited with making this the most difficult decision on the roster (based on performance). He didn’t lose the job, it was awarded to a different player type. The Ginger had the wrong resume.
  2. Theo Peckham over Richard Petiot and Shawn Belle. I don’t think this was as close a race. Peckham struggled a great deal during camp, but has displayed a willingness to drop the gloves and can deliver big hits consistently. Petiot and Belle will (unless lost to waivers) anchor a solid blueline in Oklahoma City this season. There’s no real surprise here.
  3. Devan Dubnyk over Jeff Deslauriers. Good grief. The Edmonton Oilers are the NHL’s tea grannies when it comes to making a freaking decision. Actually, that’s an insult to tea grannies who make decisions in well under half a decade. Note to Oilers: it doesn’t matter. Pick one.

There were some players who weren’t really in the race but were kept for one final look:

  1. Alex Giroux: He didn’t show enough in pre-season. His speed looked good enough and he can be physical; I’d like to see him mid-season (similar to the look Potulny got a year ago) to see if he could cash some goals. This story isn’t over yet.
  2. Ben Ondrus: Also a possible callup, you could slide him onto the 4line and not miss a beat. Ondrus is a better player (to my eye) than we should have expected and he may see some NHL action this year.
  3. Chris Vande Velde: A strong training camp has him as a “coming attraction” for the Edmonton Oilers. The difference between this player and the others on the list of demotions today is that when he comes back Vande Velde is going to stay for years.
  4. Linus Omark: The continuing saga of the undersized skill player rolls on. Every time a player like this gets sent down there’s much wringing of hands and swear words ring throughout the land. I think Omark might have more gears than the typical Bobby Sheehan, but he’ll begin his NA career in Oklahoma City (where he will probably become a legend).
  5. Ryan O’Marra: I mentioned him early as a possible roster player (Bob Stauffer picked up on it and it was mentioned to me at least a dozen times this TC that I was an O’Marra booster. Long time readers of this blog will know the opposite to be true) but the pre-season is a crazy time. Either way, the organization likes him and O’Marra will be back.

In an hour or two, I’ll have a list of players that Edmonton could pluck off waivers. It’s an interesting list.

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