TC ROSTER

The first time we see these kids is usually training camp, and the excitement of this camp suggests ‘expectations’ are higher than they’ve been in forever. I think the on-ice Oilers are going to be a treat and they could push into the playoffs. Those men will require better effort from the off ice Oilers both during training camp and at the deadline.

TC ROSTER

  1. G Devan Dubnyk: The big payday came last summer and now its time for Dubnyk to stand and deliver. Didn’t play for much of the lockout but looked good at the Spengler. Seems like a calmer player now, more veteran. Hopefully the results from Jan+ 2012 continue or improve.
  2. G Nikolai Khabibulin: Happy 40th to NK, he celebrates by being listed among the injured players entering camp. I’m not certain the Oilers could ever rely on him and now it would seem folly. Suspect ST has one eye on the waiver wire this week, with Danis a phone call away.
  3. D Ryan Whitney: Early returns on injury are positive, we’ll know a lot more this time next week. If he can play 22+ minutes and in all disciplines, the Oilers defense improves smartly.
  4. D Justin Schultz: Important to remember he’s a rookie and mistakes will happen. Schultz had a dream AHL debut, but expecting identical results in the NHL is unfair and unrealistic. A period of defensive transition could certainly be accompanied by some struggles on the powerplay.
  5. D Ladislav Smid: Healthy after an injury took him away from his lockout job, Smid is a vital cog in the Oilers machine again this season. Calm feet and lessons learned means he’ll play heavy ev minutes and be a part of the 1PK.
  6. D Jeff Petry: With all of the hoopla about Schultz, it might be easy to forget the impressive development of Petry as an NHL player. He will be relied on even more this season, and could add some PP minutes to his even and PK duties. The best candidate on the club for an extreme value contract.
  7. D Nick Schultz: Veteran well suited to a third pairing, low event slot on the roster. Schultz is a solid veteran who should become a big part of this team’s penalty kill and the first option to step up into the top 4D when needed.
  8. D Corey Potter: Oilers need him to be more like the ‘early Potter’ and less like the post-injury edition. A great success story from the Renney era, Potter is the one regular who employment is week to week or month to month.
  9. D Theo Peckham: Enters camp as the final member of the blue, and 7D’s need to take advantage of opportunity. His TC story will be about conditioning and be able to play at speed. There is no question about his toughness or willingness to battle.
  10. D Colten Teubert: Having some troubles in OKC, Teubert is probably closer to losing his position as “first callup” to Taylor Fedun than he is to making this team. A strong week in Edmonton in front of management’s eyes would be a very good thing for his immediate career.
  11. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Should be well rested after the early season Barons experience and the early January WJ contests. The Nuge is Edmonton’s special teams savant, a PP killer with the face of a child. Huge part of the team, role increases by the day.
  12. C Sam Gagner: A big season for Samwise, he should spend the entire year with skill and at center and (hopefully) healthy. A key element for the Oilers in their efforts to become an effectve 5×5 team.
  13. C Shawn Horcoff: A step slower and with miles and miles of miles and miles, Horcoff remains an important part of the team in several areas. I think his PP time will continue to fade but he’ll be relied on for EV and PK minutes. Horcoff may end up serving a mentor role again this season, with Nail Yakupov an obvious candidate.
  14. C Eric Belanger: Last chance Texaco for a player who should have been better than the results delivered, Belanger needs to get off to a good start and keep it going. I don’t think the Oilers will be patient with him this season.
  15. C Chris VandeVelde: Oilers have liked him forever despite Mendoza line worries. VV will probably spend some time in the NHL this season unless Anton Lander takes a giant leap forward in the next few weeks.
  16. L Taylor Hall: Wonderful hockey player, healthy and full of pep. Hall’s status as one of the bright young lights in the league may be replaced by ‘impact player’ as soon as this shortened season. Hall will get mega-minutes under Krueger and should hit 20 goals despite the season being only 48 games.
  17. L Nail Yakupov: Listed here, he might get R minutes too. Yakupov’s rookie season isn’t likely to involve as much playing time as Hall’s, simply because the team is better this season than they were in 2010 fall. Still, quality rises to the top and this young man is top quality.
  18. L Ryan Smyth: Veteran winger is an important part of the team because he can do it all. PP,EV,PK and he can play on a dedicated checking line, a mentor role or step up into a 1line role should it be required. Wish the Oilers had 5 more.
  19. L Teemu Hartikainen: 2008 draft pick gets his chance in a short season to show what he can do, and it looks like the push from the organization is real. Needs to be on the fast train out of the gate to have sustain.
  20. L Ben Eager: Like Belanger, Eager needs to be better from the opening whistle. Eager never got into the swing of things in Edmonton and one hopes his ability to keep offensive plays moving will be much improved this season. Motor skills like passing/taking a pass were greatly reduced a year ago.
  21. L Darcy Hordichuk: I have no issue with the player, but do question the effectiveness of any player in this role. It will be fascinating to see how Krueger uses him.
  22. R Ales Hemsky: Healthy and brilliant as ever, Hemsky has hung around long enough to see the good times again and he won’t turn 30 until August. Many miles to go for Hemsky, hopegully he’ll spend them here.
  23. R Jordan Eberle: Brilliant 11-12 season was followed by league leading totals in the AHL and now we’re arguing about levels of greatness. I am the banner carrier for the Magnificent Bastard, and Eberle keeps hitting home runs for the cause. Here’s hoping it continues.
  24. R Lennart Petrell: PK man and aggressive forechecker, his advanced numbers read like Evil Dead 1, so the Oilers may be trying for Evil Dead 2. He certainly looked like a hockey player, maybe the results will improve with better linemates.
  25. R Magnus Paajarvi: Oilers Nation is divided but there’s a player here. An effective 5×5 player who can chip in offensively and sometimes run with the thoroughbreds when everything clicks. The question: is it in Edmonton?

Yann Danis was reported to be in camp by the Edmonton Oilers, but in fact is in OKC (but apparently a healthy scratch). We might conclude that Danis will be in Edmonton soon as Khabibulin insurance but will wait for further notice from the Oilers and then confirmation from an independent source.

Ryan Jones and Andy Sutton are not on the TC roster because of injury.

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52 Responses to "TC ROSTER"

  1. wordbird says:

    hmmmm. wonder which goalie(s) might find themselves on waivers this week. still of the opinion that Khabby retires if he has any longer-term health setbacks…

  2. Lowetide says:

    I think the Oilers should be aggressive this week on the waiver wire: G and D. Pick up some depth and make damn good and sure the Barons are solid in both positions.

  3. stevezie says:

    Actually I’ll give Tmabo credit for this one. We have top waiver priority; before we trade anything let’s see what’s out there for free.

  4. Bushed says:

    As usual, LT, you are on the mark with your comments throughout the lineup.

    But until someone sees Whitney actually able to turn/pivot again, I continue to worry.

    Also, Horcoff and PP time do not belong in the same sentence, and yes I know you’re not advocating it, just saying his time will decrease. Let’s hope that if he is asked to mentor Yak, it is only on the D side of the puck.

    Totally agree about Smyth. He’s a great mentor for our young guys, and his off-ice role will be big for this team, too.

  5. Oilogosphere.com says:

    stevezie,

    Behind Columbus, the Oilers will have priority on waivers. Although, Columbus won’t need defense.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Should be some good waiver players, but the Oilers don’t often take the plunge. Ryan Jones and I don’t remember any others of recent vintage

  7. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bushed: Horcoff and PP time do not belong in the same sentence

    Horcoff played a key role on Oilers dynamite PP last year. Solidly in the top 20 forwards in the NHL for PPGF/60.

    Do they have better options? Maybe. Do “Horcoff” and “PP” belong in the same sentence? Absolutely.

  8. OilLeak says:

    Geezus, Cam Barker got a one way contract with the Canucks. Please, please, please dress him in every game this season.

  9. "Steve Smith" says:

    OilLeak,

    No, no, you misunderstand – it’s another in a series of moves proving the brilliance of the Vancouver Canucks organization. Although it was a tough bidding war – Dale Tallon was in on it until the last.

  10. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    I
    Bruce McCurdy,

    I think Steve Mac would’ve had the same stat line on that PP. That’s a bit much, but there are better options to sit in front of the net then the captain. Smyth. Years and years on the pony prove that. Hartikainen. He may actually be the Oilers best option. Where the problem lies, if you go Hall-RNH-Harti-Eberle-Schultz, is on the dot. But, I’m sure it’s possible to try some of the wingers at faceoffs. And maybe Harti can use his strength and big frame to his advantage. Jus’ my word. But, regardless it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

    But I think it’s time for the el capitan to step aside…

  11. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    I like that waiver thing. NBC reporting that Poti going to Hershey for a conditioning stint (2 weeks), but could be on waivers after if he can’t crack the lineup. Hasn’t played in two years, but can’t be worse than the Barker experiment. Who is apparently in Van for 700K.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    I think the OIlers are going to make the playoffs.

  13. Bushed says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Was Horcoff on the ice? Sure.

    Do we have better options now? Absolutely.

    There. Fixed.

  14. hunter1909 says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: NBC reporting that Poti going to Hershey for a conditioning stint (2 weeks), but could be on waivers after if he can’t crack the lineup. Hasn’t played in two years, but can’t be worse than the Barker experiment.

    That is the kind of thing you wouldn’t really want to hear in a thousand centuries; spent in the deepest level of purgatory.

  15. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    hunter1909,

    LOL Fair enough. Pickings are definitely slim and the Oils needs are more geared towards a big, scrappy, insane kinda bloke. But I digress. Beer was invented by monks….

  16. DeadmanWaking says:

    Bushed: Let’s hope that if he is asked to mentor Yak, it is only on the D side of the puck.

    Horcoff won’t be mentoring Yak on his own path to greatness. All the same, it’s likely he knows more than any man alive about how too play most effectively in an offensive role alongside Hemmer and Smyth. I suspect his wisdom concerning how others play and playing with others goes all the way down the volcanic depth chart.

    Often the best mentors are those who have done the most with the least. Gretzky’s coaching ability seemed to hit a glass ceiling with the phrase “and then you score a goal”. Yak might be completely incapable of articulating what he does out there. Natural talents sometimes have this problem. This won’t matter until he finds himself in a line combination blending oil with water (on some day when he’s the odd star out).

    Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Krueger puts Horcoff out there at the tail end of a PP with the seconds ticking down. He’s on record with a statement to the effect that deploying Eberle and J.S. as your point men as the PP expires is not a great hockey idea.

    I’ve long thought that PP statistics really ought to be modified by what happens after the PP expires, but before the next whistle is blown, or clean line changes are made.

  17. oilersfan says:

    considering Bruce and David STaple sat through every oiler game and counted scoring chances for and against for the least two seasons I wonder if they have more insight into who was a good player and who wasn’t than the casual fan who watched half of half the games then turned off the tv when they lost without another thought. Both Bruce and David insist that Horcoff was not a passenger on the oilers’ pp last year but an integral part of its success. Krueger said as much last week in his interview with Gregor regarding Horcoff’s importance in faceoffs, puck retrieval and net presence. I can’t understand why or how people belittle the importance of winnnig the faceoff on the power play as losing it requires going to get the puck, reentering the zone, and setting up, all of which takes 20-30 seconds IF SUCCESSFUL. Many times the reentery and or the set up are not succssful and it has to be restarted.

    If Horcoff starts the season on the number one or two unit I don’t think there should be any surprise, or any well informed criticism.

  18. Lowetide says:

    The best reflection of value related to team is TOI. If Horcoff was getting ice the coaching staff felt he was the wise option. Horcoff was getting time.

  19. rickithebear says:

    Pilerfan

    oilersfan: f Horcoff starts the season on the number one or two unit I don’t think there should be any surprise, or any well informed criticism.

    Amen!

  20. Ducey says:

    Oilers are playing shinny today at 4 pm at Hawrelak Park!

  21. godot10 says:

    Bushed:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Was Horcoff on the ice? Sure.

    Do we have better options now? Absolutely.

    There. Fixed.

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins still can’t win a faceoff to save his life. The power play starts in the offensive zone.

    Horcoff is a better option than Belanger. Gagner’s getting better on draws, and may be close to usurping Horcoff’s spot on the #1 PP unit. One of those three will be on the unit, until Nugent-Hopkins can win a faceoff 45% of the time. Otherwise, RNH will start on the wing on the PP.

  22. FPB94 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Horcoff played a key role on Oilers dynamite PP last year. Solidly in the top 20 forwards in the NHL for PPGF/60.

    Do they have better options? Maybe. Do “Horcoff” and “PP” belong in the same sentence? Absolutely.

    And the 4 years before that he was around a 5 GF/ON 60 on the PP. A terrible number.

  23. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    oilersfan,

    aging – the organic process of growing older and showing the effects of increasing age. So says the internet and the internet does not lie. NO! It does not lie!

    I watched a lot hockey last year too and Horcoff, aside from his faceoff prowess (I’ll give anyone that), was not the straw that stirred the drink. He was merely a passenger on a star studded train ride. On several occasions a player with better skill would’ve finished off a play where he did not. However, he sheltered the rookie center and he did that well. Is it time for change? I think so, but it’s the coach that decides this. Not Staples, Not McCurdy, Not any other talented writer who has invested hours upon hours.

    I’m not suggesting he’s washed up as some might, but that his role is changing along with his age. That is all. Also, what is a positive minded coach suppose to say about his Captain? Did he say he was on the top unit? Politics, man. It’s all politics.

  24. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Nice move by the org in rebuilding bridges. From the journal article on the shinny today, there is also mention of the open practices M-W :

    Team president Patrick LaForge said letting people watch the practices “will be a great opportunity for us to strengthen our relationships with our fans.”

    Complimentary popcorn and beverages will be available.

  25. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Horcoff did a metric shit ton of heavy lifting on the powerplay last year. Didn’t handle the puck much — a good thing, by and large — but was involved on the dot and in puck retrieval as PP coach Ralph Krueger mentioned a time or two this week. Mostly he took a lot of punishment down low while the talent passed the puck through the seams he created and shot through his screens. Not exactly my idea of a “passenger”.

    I get that people don’t like Horcoff’s contract (I don’t either), but the lack of respect for the player himself — who has done nothing more than bust his ass for this team for 12 years — is hard to swallow sometimes.

  26. FPB94 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Seems more and more like Pisani. Sad to say but there’s a lot of guys who can bust their ass on the PP. Loads.

    Metrics suggest that he was along for the ride, since he didn’t enjoy much success even in his best seasons earlier on.

    The man’s running on dreams of past glory.

  27. skidplate says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Props x 10 Bruce.

  28. Bruce McCurdy says:

    FPB94:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Seems more and more like Pisani.

    Is that meant as some kind of a knock on the guy?

  29. Lowetide says:

    Exactly. I’d drive to fort Mac and back every day for a year in exchange for another Pisani.

  30. FPB94 says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Well no… not per se. I just mean that he’s got support from what he did a long time ago, not recently.

    (At least that’s my opinion).

  31. Spydyr says:

    Remember “Where is the beef”

    Where is it.This team will be like the teams of the last few years.

    Too easy to push around.

    Time for some toughness in the top 6 and top 4 D

    Still to many small skilled players.They are more skilled now but just as small.

  32. Captain Happy says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    OilLeak,

    No, no, you misunderstand – it’s another in a series of moves proving the brilliance of the Vancouver Canucks organization.Although it was a tough bidding war – Dale Tallon was in on it until the last.

    Gillis is paying him $700K to be his #8 defenseman…#9 if Frankie Corrado makes the team.

    Tambellini paid him $2.25 million to play in his top 4.

    With the changes to waiver rules and burying contracts in the minors it’s an absolute zero risk move by the Canucks who have a pretty good track record of getting players back on track. (see Chris Higgins)

    Now, Barker would certainly not be my choice as a depth D, considering the Canucks are sitting very close to the cap, it’s likely about all they could afford.

    Of course, should Luongo ever get traded, things could change.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Loved Frankie Corrado. That ‘Eye of the Tiger’ song was a classic.

  34. "Steve Smith" says:

    Captain Happy: Gillis is paying him $700K to be his #8 defenseman…#9 if Frankie Corrado makes the team.

    Tambellini paid him $2.25 million to play in his top 4.

    So the line in the sand is “better free agent signing than Tambellini’s signing of Cam Barker”? Ringing praise indeed.

    We get that it’s a low risk signing. Signing me for the league minimum to be the number 8 defenceman would also be a low risk signing. That part that’s amusing us is how you’re trying to cram it into your “Vancouver management is exceedingly clever” narrative.

  35. jp says:

    skidplate:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Props x 10 Bruce.

    Ditto this.

  36. pboy says:

    What the Patriots have done over the last decade or so, has been beyond unbelievable. It seems like they make it either to the AFC Championship or the Super Bowl every year. With the amount of parity in sports, its going to e awhile before something like this happen again.

  37. Captain Happy says:

    “Steve Smith”: So the line in the sand is “better free agent signing than Tambellini’s signing of Cam Barker”?Ringing praise indeed.

    We get that it’s a low risk signing.Signing me for the league minimum to be the number 8 defenceman would also be a low risk signing.That part that’s amusing us is how you’re trying to cram it into your “Vancouver management is exceedingly clever” narrative.

    I certainly wouldn’t claim this is a move that would add to Gillis’ growing reputation as a clever manager.

    But it doesn’t hurt it either.

    Small potatoes.

  38. FPB94 says:

    IT,s not like it hurt us in anyway.

    We signed a guy who could be, he wasn’t, and then went to FA as a guy can’t be.

  39. vishcosity says:

    pboy:
    What the Patriots have done over the last decade or so, has been beyond unbelievable. It seems like they make it either to the AFC Championship or the Super Bowl every year. With the amount of parity in sports, its going to e awhile before something like this happen again.

    John Wooden won 10 NCAA championships in 13 years. After his run a reporter asked him if he thought anyone would be able to ever do that again. Wooden said, “Before we did it, would you have thought it possible?…then it can happen again.”

    What I think is off the charts with the Patriots though, is that the only two guys that have been there the whole time are the coach/GM and qb. What’s more, for many of the years they weren’t even close to the cap. Dumping dudes at peak value, picking up undrafted free agents, its been a school for GM’s all over.

    We lived 20 minutes from foxborough for the Bledsoe years. They drafted Brady the year after we left. Its amazing that every team in the league passed on him 5 times. He was pretty good in Michigan, I still don’t know how he possibly fell so far. Maybe him falling to the sixth round in his mind made it like he was playing with house money.

    I see the Oilers are in Phoenix on January 30. While I really want to disavow myself from commercial sports entirely, in reality I really want to see that game. Hope I can get in for about $5. Moreso, I hope I can convince the lady to go.

    Tangerine juice fresh squeezed off the neighbour’s tree is truly the nectar of the gods.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    digdeepnbleedblue: Beer was invented by monks….

    I’ll bet Poti’s allergic to beer.

  41. Captain Happy says:

    Beer was invented in Sumeria by a guy named Hi-Neek-In.

    Monks of the middle ages merely cornered the market.

  42. Bushed says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I agree with much of your first paragraph, but I guess my preference is to have someone on the PP who can actually handle and do something constructive with the puck, like score. Can Horc win some faceoffs? Is he a good defensive player? Is he an “honest” player. Sure.

    But he can also whiff on one-timers like no one else in recent times, which drives me crazy. If the point of a powerplay is to score, shouldn’t your best shooters and scorers be on it?

    I’m also not disputing that Horc has worked hard on this team, nor that he can still have a role to play. We just disagree on what that role should be. I wouldn’t call that disrespect, just a difference of opinion.

    I was also less than pleased at Horcoff’s willingness to use team youth as an excuse for losing in past years (go back and watch the post-game interviews), especially after games when it was vets who didn’t show up. And the contract? Yes, it is an issue with me, too. For the money, and as captain, I expect better on both counts. But again, just my two cents…

  43. stevezie says:

    Horc got results on the PP last year, so it’s not as crazy as it sounds. That said, Smyth can take faceoffs too and is one of the acknowledged masters of standing in fornt of the net and grinding the corners. My intuition tells me that he more than covers the 5% difference in faceoffs between the two.

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bushed: I guess my preference is to have someone on the PP who can actually handle and do something constructive with the puck, like score.

    You mean someone like Hall, Eberle, RNH or Schultz. Me too!

    Hey, wait a minute …

  45. BONVIE says:

    Yeah that is the only way Horcoff will completely be removed from a PP is if someone else can consistently be competitive in the circles against the other teams top faceoff men. Bottom line is the PP will be much more effective if you can start with the puck.

    I remember that experimental year of trying to turn Smyth into a center he should have learned something about taking draws that year!!!

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    stevezie: That said, Smyth can take faceoffs too and is one of the acknowledged masters of standing in fornt of the net and grinding the corners.

    All true. What impressed and rather surprised me last year was how well Horcoff “took” to the Smytty role on the Krueger PP. Penner used to do a lot of the same things, & he wasn’t always wdely appreciated either, even as he was really good away from the puck. But yeah, you could flip Smytty in there (Krueger used him on the second unit last year, with Hemsky & Gagner largely) and get somewhat similar results. And that too would have value.

  47. Bruce McCurdy says:

    FPB94:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Well no… not per se. I just mean that he’s got support from what he did a long time ago, not recently.

    (At least that’s my opinion).

    You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, as am I to mine. Which is to say that “recently” Horcoff was a regular on one of the NHL’s top powerplays. Beyond that work on the PP, last year (“recently”) he did the heavy lifting (most TOI, most SH TOI, most faceoffs in all three game states, toughest EV QualComp, 2nd toughest EV ZoneStart barely behind Belanger) while the kids got more than their share of the cherry minutes. Even as 10′s results weren’t as “plus” as we all would like, that function has value. He remains Oilers’ best option to do that kind of stuff, as does Smyth on the wing. As tough-minutes vets on a young team, those guys are key.

  48. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    There goes ol crazy Bruce speaking sense to the masses again.

  49. Lowetide says:

    I love that Bruce is defending Horcoff. The ONE time this team had a chance to win something this generation Shawn Horcoff blocked a shot with his face. That’s something. It really is.

    And one day when they replace him with something better, we’ll say goodbye. But I’m not going to dance on his grave. Ever.

  50. unca miltie says:

    Hard to imagine this team without Horcoff. He has logged a lot of tough minutes over the years. Right now I see no replacement close.

  51. stevezie says:

    Everytime I hear some fan complaining about the players not giving a crap about the fans I think of people hating Horcoff and I laugh. I will not fault the team for making damn sure before moving on form soneone who has given what he has given for the franchise. Last year was Horcoff’s worst. Lets give him a shot at bouncing back. (Personally I think he’s going to be okay not great, but that’ll be fine because the real story is going to be Gager and Hemsky shutting up critics. So says my hunch.)

  52. russ99 says:

    I’m hopeful Belanger and Horcoff take a step up this year.

    People forget that they were the Oilers most shackled by Renney’s system. Too often they would play in the very high slot in the offensive zone to cover if (when) the puck got turned over in the inane dump/cycle game that rarely works unless all 5 players are committed to puck possession.

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