Tuesday, September 25

D-Day In The Desert

Phoenix Pre-Game: Cuts Coming

Quick notes before tonight's game:

*After assigning Adam Huxley and T.J. Kemp to Springfield yesterday, the Oil will get down to 15 forwards and 9 defencemen following tonight's game. Last cuts likely to come following tomorrow's game with Calgary. MacT would like to throw out something close to his opening night roster against Vancouver on Saturday.

* Several guys in the lineup tonight are likely getting their last look before they head to Springfield. On the blueline, Syvret, Young and Bisaillon are sure to be sent to Springfield. Bryan Young looks like he will have a career in the NHL as a stay-at-home #5 or #6 guy. He's sound and plays simple. Syvret is probably a career AHL guy or injury call-up, while Bisaillon has drawn comparisons in style and stature to Marc-Andre Bergeron. Not sure if he should be insulted by that or not. Those three cuts would get them down to 9, and then the real decision making begins. Send a deserving Gilbert down until a deal can be made? Can you risk losing Roy on waivers if you send him down? If a deal is made, who goes?

* Just thinking out loud here, but maybe Tampa Bay could be a potential trading partner. They're looking for defencemen (cheap ones at that) especially now with Boyle's injury. Can only guess as to who the Oilers would want back. If they're looking for offence, perhaps a guy like Vinny Prospal ($1.9 million) in the last year of his contract would be a fit.

* Up front there's a little more work to do. Reddox, Bodie, Trukhno, and O'Marra draw in tonight and are likely on their way out as well. Toss in Almtorp, Johansson, Spurgeon, Sestito and Simon, and that still only gets you to 18 forwards. Assuming that Poulito and Nilsson are safe, that means cutting three of the following: Brodziak, Carter, Cogliano, Gagner, Jacques, Schremp and Stortini. Carter, Jacques and Schremp is my guess...

* ...that being said, tonight might be an important night for Gagner. He won't be playing with Hemsky and Penner (Sanderson & Pouliot tonight) and it's important for him to show he can produce with other guys. Ales Hemsky could make Greener look like Jean Beliveau.

* Schremp is playing on the 4th line tonight (again) with Bodie and Reddox. Tough to say what it means, but Cogliano played there against Calgary and scored two goals. Schremp's skating probably prohibits him from playing with the fleet/skilled guys like Nilsson and Hemsky, so he's likely to be a 4th liner/PP specialist if he sticks with the Oil. It's either a "show me" move by MacT or an indicator that he's about to get sent down.

* Hope Steve Stamkos likes it 95 degrees in December. Have you seen Phoenix's roster? Who is going to be worse than them this year? Cue 8-2 Coyotes win tonight...

Post-game thoughts a little later.

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