by Lisa McRitchie on 10/03/11 at 04:00 AM ET
The Edmonton Oilers have made their “final” cuts Sunday, and there was at least one surprise. Gilbert Brule is in the last year of his one way contract, but has a highly publicized bought of depression/illness that has kept him out of the Oilers’ lineup for much of last season, and kept the first round centreman from being traded to the Los Angeles Kings. Sunday, Brule was placed on waivers with the intention of assignment to the AHL along with Josh Green, Ryan Keller and Ryan O’Marra. Finnish left winger Teemu Hartikainen was also assigned to Oklahoma City, but does not have to be placed on waivers for re-assignment.
The Oilers will begin their season with:
and currently injured
This of course is pending the health of these players, so it is hard to call any cuts, or any list final. When it comes to the Oilers, nothing is certain and fans need to expect the unexpected.
The team will travel to Jasper for some team building and bonding opportunities and the coaching staff will work on line combinations. This week before the season starts is as important to the team as training camp was.
Although many people would prefer Anton Lander and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins not start the season in Edmonton, it looks as though these rookies have earned their spot on the roster, and or been given an opportunity due to someone else’s misfortune.
Although the NHL may not be a soft landing for Anton Lander, the reports of the Swede from the players would indicate that Lander is up to the challenge. Although Lander’s English doesn’t seem as precise as Magnus Pajaarvi’s was last season, working with Linus Omark and Paajarvi may help Lander along, even if Lander does get sent to the AHL this season.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins may make a mistake or two as he progresses, but it seems as though this centreman may be ready for the challenges that the NHL will bring, at least in the eyes of the Oilers’ coaching staff. They did have other options, they could have kept Brule up, and assigned Nugent-Hopkins, they could also have sent Lander to Oklahoma City.
As mentioned, we continue to expect the unexpected, but in the meantime, the countdown is on until the Oilers’ season opener Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will likely be minus Sidey Crosby.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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