Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/05/13 at 11:00 AM ET
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Unlike the San Jose Sharks, who have about eight natural centres amongst their top 12 forwards–moving Patty Marleau and Joe Pavelski and Scott Gomez to the wing–the Edmonton Oilers are seriously lacking in that commodity. With Shawn Horcoff breaking a knuckle on his hand and Eric Belanger busting two toes , both blocking shots, the Oilers are down to two regular healthy centres in young guns Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner, with farmhand call-up Anton Lander also on the scene.
They will likely bring up OKCity’s checking centre Chris VandeVelde now that Horcoff is out a month or more with Lander in the No. 3 hole and VDV as the fourth-line pivot. But they are painfully thin after that, with only little Mark Arcobello left on the farm. As GM Steve Tambellini says “centres can move to the wing, but it’s tough the other way around.” Whole different set of circumstances, with face-offs and defensive zone coverage and playmaking.
Which brings us to the next wildcat question. Would they consider calling Jason Arnott’s agent, brother Wade? Why not come full circle with Arnie, drafting him at 18 and giving him a shot as a free-agent at 38?
continued with more names mentioned...
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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