Craig MacTavish played center for 112 seasons in the NHL, I imagine he learned a thing or two about playing the position. His verbal this summer about center has been the following: he’s happy with the depth, confident they can make a go of it.
- 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.”
RE 13-14: 25, 2-6-8
I believe this means one (or more) of the following is true:
- Internal estimates for the Nuge’s return are more promising than we’re being led to believe.
- The Oilers believe they can trade for an attractive option before training camp.
- The Oilers believe the waiver wire can give them a needed boost.
- MacT believes in Anton Lander more than the fanbase.
- One of the wingers is going to play out of position.
- Andrew Miller is a hypnotist.
- Mark Arcobello is going to play the role of jack-of-all-trades forward, in the grand tradition of former Oiler Mark Lamb.
All seem logical, I’m betting at least part of the thinking is that the club sees Arcobello as someone with enough offense and overall skill to be an ideal 13th forward/5th center when all is said and done. His NHL salary ($600,000) is a bargain and his minor league salary ($175,000) is #36 in the AHL. Among centers who are outside the top 4 heading into camp (Nuge, Gagner, Gordon, Lander) I rank Arcobello as the likely winner of the open auditions.
(Photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)