by Lisa McRitchie on 09/17/11 at 04:15 PM ET
Today is a big day for the Edmonton Oilers because today is the first day of training camp. There are a few Oilers and prospects that are not on the ice due to various injuries and it is also captain Shawn Horcoff’s birthday. If nothing else, truly this has to be the surest sign that the hockey season is days away. The Oilers’ today were divided into 3 teams, A, B and C to take part in various on-ice drills. With so many people at camp on day one, including the injured, the Oilers’ brass will have their work cut out for them to start making cuts.
The current injured Oilers’ list isn’t as long as it was at the close of last season, but it is longer than many would prefer.
• Defenceman Colten Teubert is showing concussion like symptoms and so is playing it safe and off the ice.
• Oil Kings’ forward and newly drafted Oilers’ prospect Travis Ewanyk will likely need shoulder surgery and may not play for months.
• Ales Hemsky will be avoiding contact for the first five days of camp, trying to wait until he is 100% healthy.
• Ryan Whitney’s ankle is still healing and is reportedly having some issue pivoting. Whitney told the media that he has pain if he skates more than 30-40 minutes. So, the Oilers will stick to shorter skates for Whitney until this improves.
• Head coach Tom Renney broke his leg in July and is taking it easy at this point.
Today is also the first day of training camp for the Winnipeg Jets, the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames among others, and all of those camps were open to the public. It’s interesting that today was not open to the public for the Edmonton Oilers, and that the fans are encouraged to buy tickets for the Joey Moss Camp tomorrow. The Oilers are under a lot of scrutiny at this point, mainly centering on the funding for the new arena. While the Oilers claim to be losing money in their current arena, with their current situation I had to question the added expenditure of the Octane Dance crew and now what appears to be a cash grab especially since pre-season tickets cost just as much as regular season games.
I still support the Oilers and their goals for a new downtown arena and believe it should happen sooner rather than later. However, there are sometimes when the Oilers might be better off giving a quick explanation rather than leave fans to speculate. Likely closing the first day of camp to the public is more for the benefit of the players and coaches, trying to help put the players at ease. There are big expectations for this club this year, in some ways two 30th place finishes are not easy to follow up.
Because this is also Saturday, it’s time to look at the week that was here is you Edmonton Oilers’ weekend update.
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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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