After last night, names like Anton Belov, Jesse Joensuu, Will Acton and Tyler Pitlick are moving up the organizational depth chart. Is it enough to keep them in Edmonton for the winter? It’s also time to question the “incumbents” and their future on the roster.



  • Goalies (2) Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera
  • Defensemen (5) Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid, Justin Schultz and Andrew Ferense, Nick Schultz
  • Centermen (2) Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (inj), Sam Gagner (inj), Boyd Gordon
  • Left Wing (3)  David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Ryan Smyth
  • Right Wing (4) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Steve MacIntyre

For the first time this training camp, there appears to be a real chance one of the original choices for the roster is falling off the pace. We don’t know for certain, but the media seems to believe Ryan Jones may not make the final cut. That’s a bigger news item in these parts because it didn’t happen under the previous regime: if you were signed to a one way deal, you made the roster. I’ve placed Steve MacIntyre on the certain list, although of course that’s dependent on him showing up healthy (he’s apparently in terrific shape).



  • Goalies (none)
  • Defensemen (5): Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov, Corey Potter, Phil Larsen, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Taylor Fedun
  • Center (3): Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello, Will Acton, Andrew Miller
  • Left Wing (3): Linus Omark, Ryan Hamilton, Ben Eager
  • Right Wing (1): Mike Brown

This bunch is going to see some cuts soon. The underlined names are the players I believe we’ll see make it to opening night based on the current roster, but there’s no difference I can see between Larsen and Fedun. Grebeshkov and Potter are candidates for opening night IR, so there’s an opportunity to retain the rights to a few players into the season.


  • Goalies (4): Richard Bachman, Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, Ty Rimmer
  • Defensemen (6): Brad Hunt, Martin Gernat, Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Darnell Nurse, Joey Leach
  • Centermen (3): Ryan Martindale, CJ Stretch, Travis Ewanyk
  • Left Wing (5): Curtis Hamilton, Austin Fyten, Kale Kessy, Mitchell Moroz, Jujhar Khaira
  • Right Wing (4): Tyler Pitlick, Matt Ford, Derek Nesbitt, Cameron Abney

Stubborn kinds of fellows here. Pitlick had a terrific game last night, inspiring some big time verbal from the coach. Nurse is coming from even farther back but will not give in. Fun, fun training camp.



  • Goalies (2) Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera
  • Defensemen (7) Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid, Justin Schultz and Andrew Ference, Nick Schultz and Anton Belov, Phil Larsen, Corey Potter (inj)
  • Centermen (4) Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (inj), Sam Gagner (inj), Boyd Gordon, Will Acton, Mark Arcobello
  • Left Wing (5)  David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Ryan Smyth, Ryan Hamilton, Steve MacIntyre
  • Right Wing (5) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Mike Brown

That would mean Denis Grebeshkov, Taylor Fedun, Darnell Nurse, Anton Lander, Linus Omark, Ben Eager and Tyler Pitlick would be cut. I do think the club will make a deal for a center upgrade. It looks like Acton has a job, I’m less certain about Lander and Arcobello (who at this point would make the team by default).



  • Harrison Mooney from Puck Daddy and the Vancouver Sun. We’ll talk about Kassian, Weise and some of the Canuck youngsters pushing hard for roster spots.
  • Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz. The Senators have 5 NHL centermen–what do they need? Would they trade Zack Smith?
  • James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail. Toronto Maple Leafs are ad libbing like crazy after the Clarkson suspension–James breaks it down and we discuss where they rank.
  • Jason Strudwick from Team 1260. Jason is a contestant in “Battle of the Blades” and we’ll talk about the Oilers and Steve MacIntrye.

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207 Responses to "IT’S COMING DOWN"

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  1. Ducey says:

    @Bag of Pucks

    Finally (and apologies if this point is not pertinent to you WG), I’m always mystified by alleged ‘NHL hockey fans’ that want fighting removed from the game entirely. To me, there seems some inherent hubris in calling for systemic changes to a sport that far pre-dates your involvement as a fan. If for some exceedingly unlikely reason I decided to become a NASCAR fan tomorrow, I don’t see how that gives me the right to immediately start demanding rule changes that would eliminate any potential for car crashes. Fighting has always been a part of NHL hockey. If people don’t like it, then there other hockey leagues to watch or other sports. What gives the ‘anti-fighting’ lobbyists the right to demand a change to something that is a) enjoyed by the majority of the paying customers and b) has always been a part of this sport?

    Sorry, but surely to goodness society can advance, and the majority is not always right. Surely you can get past the simplicity of labelling things “politically correct”.

    Things have changed. We now know that fighters and many non – fighters suffer permanent and debilitating brain disease as a result of repeated concussions. To allow players to get their brains beat in multiple times a season is a very real public policy and legal issue.

    You will no doubt point to Crosby and say things like “hockey is a rough game”. At least Crosby’s primary purpose is to do something other than chug around and threaten is own and other players’ brain cells.

    A player like Smac (or Boogaard) does nothing to protect his team mates and usually has no other purpose than a staged fight. This is to the detriment of himself and his opponent and provides no benefit to the game. This type of conduct should be eliminated.

  2. Bulging Twine says:

    Gerta Rauss: 27…I just counted.

    They have to make a move now for a Center, they just have to.

    27! Ouch

  3. OilFire says:

    Gagner out 2 months


    That is all I can say about that. I feel like when my bike got stolen as a kid.

  4. TheOtherJohn says:

    You have no idea how much this hurts to say: Bookje, I agree with you completely!

    Love to see fast paced physical hockey, checks finished, etc but hockey fights…..Meh and infinitely worse, staged hockey fights off of a faceoff- a complete waste of time

    It is also funny when games matter the most: — the playoffs, fighting is completely eliminated from the game. There fighting is both seen to be unnecessary and as an actual impediment to success

    Wonder if Bag of Pucks quits watching the games in the playoffs: inexplicably….. no one is fighting…shitty hockey to watch?

  5. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy: Then who is Van beefing up to fight against?

    LAK, SJS, and CHI really don’t have an enforcer.CHI does with Bollig, but he’s not an “instigator” from what I’ve seen, more of a beat cop.

    VAN’s top 2 rivals in the division doesn’t carry heavy weights, and neither does Boston.

    Gillis fighting shadows.

    You’re thinking he is adding goons when in fact he has added big players who will raise a little hell.

    You just saw it on display with Kassian and Alberts who both can play a soupçon of hockey.

    Sestito and Kellan Lain are also in the mix.

    More to come.

  6. Colonel Obvious says:

    The comments section is mind numbing today.

    Colonel Obvious: are you not yet banned? You bring nothing to almost every discussion but a one-sided, birds eye view of reality. Have you read any books, articles or even listened to interviews of hockey players? Do some research. Fourth line players on the opposition will be thinking a lot about it when they see him in the lineup. MacGrattan, Sestito and the four or five other players in the league who would actually fight him won’t be sleeping that easy the night before. Players on their team will see that and who knows, it may have an effect.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a huge proponent of the staged goon fights and think it’s a bit insane when someone gets KO’d but it is a part of hockey. The players want it in the game and regardless of what “1,013 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists and an additional smaller sample of 502 self-described hockey fans” think about fighting, you could do a survey in a true hockey market that would say the exact opposite.

    What’s it like to be wrong about everything. Why on earth would I be banned? I’m one of the best posters here. You, on the other hand, not only are impervious to reason but you don’t even know what we are talking about. What possible relevance does it have what fans think about fighting?

    Here’s a hint. What people think is truth bares little resemblance to what is true. It is irrelevant what fans think. It is also irrelevant what the players say. The only one who might be afraid of Steve MacIntyre is someone who has to fight him. But nobody has to fight him and hence no one is afraid of him. Alberts will still hit Eberle, Kassian will still hit Gagner, and Weise will still hit Hall and there isn’t a damn thing MacIntyre can do about it.

    If some expert says otherwise that just shows that this so-called expert doesn’t know what they are talking about. This is especially true about insular cultures like hockey that are steeped in folk wisdom instead of reason.

  7. "Steve Smith" says:

    I’m late to the party (to the good fortune of everybody, especially me. But especially the rest of you). But I just wanted to say that this is my favourite point ever:

    As for the enforcer stuff, what I really think the Oilers should do is sign Boogaard.

    Unfortunately, he’s dead, and playing the enforcer role was likely a key factor in his early demise.

    And also add that Bookj[...]je is cleaning the floor with the lot of you, and he’s supposed to be the court jester.

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