Tuesday, October 2

Surprise Moves

Smid and Stortini sent down; Oil Country erupts.

The Oilers completed their roster trimming today by sending Ladislav Smid and Zack Stortini to Springfield. Patrick Thoresen cleared waivers and was assigned as well. Meanwhile Tyler Spurgeon and Mathieu Roy were placed on IR, which gets the Oilers down to 23 active roster players.

I'll admit, I was quite surprised when Smid was sent down, but MacT stuck to his word and the players who performed the best in camp and pre-season made the team, regardless of name, age, or contract status. Tom Gilbert deserves to be on this team, and while they could have kept 8 defensemen around, young players need to play. It's better for Smid to go down and play 25 minutes a night in the AHL. The reaction I've heard from Oiler fans? Outrage. Oiler fans, who I've come to find are a pretty whiney, know-it-all lot, are using this as another reason to bitch about Kevin Lowe and the Pronger trade. Get lives people.

The Oiler roster is very much in a state of transition. We don't know if Gagner and Cogliano will stick, or Gilbert and Grebeshkov for that matter. I know this might come as a shock to some, but the Oilers can RE-CALL Smid whenever they want. Crazy.

With both Gagner and Cogs making it, the Oilers do have a log-jam down the middle. I have no idea who will play with Hemsky and Penner, but here's a guess:

Penner - Gagner - Hemsky
Torres - Stoll - Nilsson
Moreau - Horcoff - Brodziak
Sanderson - Cogliano - Reasoner
Extras: Jacques, Pouliot

Pitkanen - Staios
Souray - Greene
Tarnstrom - Gilbert
Extra: Grebeshkov


If they're gonna make a decision on Gagner in 9 or 10 games, then why not play him on the top line? Horcoff obviously won't play 3rd line minutes, and both the kids will get looks on the PP, I imagine. Reasoner seems like the most likely to move to the wing. The more I look, the more the centers seem interchangeable on each of the lines. Who knows? See you guys Thursday night!

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