I’ve been waiting (patiently) for an update on the Nuge, as have all Oiler fans. The last words we heard on the young centerman’s health date back close to one month now (early August). In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the quote:
- MacT: “All things are very optimistic now, but the timeline before was that he’d be ready Nov. 1, in a very pessimistic timeline, and optimistically he’d be ready to start the year. We’re going to stay with that and let his progression dictate when he’s ready. We won’t be hurrying him, that’s for sure.”
The Oilers play 14 games (17% of the schedule) before November 1st, so it’s a significant portion of the year. Of course, long term is the real concern so the timeline isn’t as important as the recovery. Taylor Hall told us he’ll be ready to play some middle at the start of the season, but MacT (same day as above) chimed in on some options:
- MacT: “[Mark] Arcobello will get a good look, Andrew Miller, Will Acton, Anton Lander. I’m sure we’ll be able to offset Nuge’s absence in the short term.”
Didn’t mention Hall, no reason to at that point. The Oilers have not addressed center since then, leading me to believe the club is fairly happy with RNH’s recovery. That said, I think 14 games is what we should assume it will take to get the wunderkind back in the big leagues. Anything better is a bonus. We should also watch the TC invite list, the waiver wire and trade possibilities in the next thirty days.
Andrew Ference is one of the big off-season pickups for this young Oiler team, a top 4D who can provide a physical element and calm feet. I was interested in the quotes from a Matty article about Peter Chiarelli’s new contract:
- Chiarelli: “Andy’s a competitive little s.o.b. He plays harder than his size (five-foot-11, 189 pounds). A challenge for Andy when he first started with us was a lot of injuries. A lot of pundits knocked him for missing time because he played hard … but he adapted his game and he still plays hard,and he became very durable. He’s aggressive, he’s efficient, he closes on guys really well, defends well and for his size,he’s very strong. He’s one of those guys with a low centre of gravity. He’ll fight, and was part of our leadership group. He moved up in our lineup. He was in our top four for a considerable period of time. What he did was calm his partners down. He spent time with Boychuk and (Adam) McQuaid. He’d calm them down because his game is a simple game.”
Music! The Oilers don’t have a Jason Smith, but this guy has a lot of those elements. He’ll own the town by Christmas.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Friday show is packed, lots to discuss and great guests! Scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports. Olympics, Training camps and one network betting on the Oilers this season.
- Guy Flaming from the Pipeline Show. Oil Kings, prospects for the 2014 draft and scouts.
- Terry Jones from the Edmonton Sun. This segment features two adult men in a collective primal scream in regard to the Edmonton Eskimos.
- Jill Horbay from FC Edmonton. The New York Cosmos are in town! This is the new incarnation of the famous team that once boasted Pele in their lineup 40 years ago. Game is Sunday at 2, we’ll preview.
- Jungle Jim Hunter will talk Olympics (teams are being named now) we’ll talk about the highs and lows of making/not making an Olympic team.
@Lowetide_ on the twitter and 10-1260 via text, we will have an open spot in there somewhere for your calls. Stay tuned!